Man caught outside factory: Plant employees aid in arrest of Iowa resident

An Iowa man considered armed and dangerous and wanted on a warrant was arrested in a Bartholomew County industrial park with the help of three employees of a local company.

Aaron Lee Gillespie, 35, of Glenwood, Iowa, is being held in the Bartholomew County Jail without bond on preliminary charges of possession of methamphetamine and the out-of-county warrant, jail officials said.

Bartholomew County sheriff’s deputies were sent to Rightway Fasteners, 7945 S. International Drive in Columbus, at about 1:22 a.m. Thursday after employees saw and apprehended Gillespie outside the factory, said Judy Jackson, sheriff’s department spokeswoman.

Deputy Jon Lanning arrived and saw two Rightway Fastener employees holding down a man, who was identified as Gillespie.

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Rightway Fasteners was on lockdown because of an Everbridge alert for the southwest portion of Bartholomew County, which reported that Gillespie was in the area and considered to be armed and dangerous, Jackson said.

One Rightway employee told deputies that he was near the northeast corner of the building when he saw Gillespie run through the parking lot. The employee said he ran after the subject and notified a fellow employee, who was at the back of the building. The two held Gillespie on the ground until a third Rightway employee arrived to assist, Jackson said.

A bag containing a white, powdery substance was found in one of Gillespie’s pockets, which he told deputies was methamphetamine, Jackson said.

“We are very fortunate that this incident ended without anyone being hurt,” Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers said.

The search for Gillespie began at about 6:18 p.m. Wednesday when the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department received information from a law enforcement agency outside of the area that Gillespie was in Bartholomew County.

Gillespie is wanted on felony warrants in Iowa and also for questioning by another Indiana agency, Jackson said. The sheriff’s department learned that Gillespie was with a woman, likely in possession of a firearm and could be staying in or near a campground in the area, she said.

Bartholomew County Sheriff’s deputy Andrew Whipker checked with a local campground and was told that Gillespie and the woman were there. While waiting for other deputies to arrive, Gillespie’s vehicle left the campground and Whipker followed, Jackson said.

When deputy Andrew Dougan arrived, the deputies conducted a felony traffic stop. The woman exited the vehicle and fled on foot but was apprehended a short time later. She was identified as Bailey Ann Davenport, 23, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A loaded firearm, ammunition and drug paraphernalia were found in the vehicle, Jackson said.

Davenport is being held in the Bartholomew County Jail without bond on preliminary charges of carrying a firearm without a license, resisting law enforcement and possession of legend drug-injection devices.

Deputies searched the campsite for Gillespie. Myers arrived on the scene and spoke with Davenport, who said that she lied about Gillespie’s whereabouts and that he was likely on foot in the area, Jackson said.

Deputies, Indiana State Police, Columbus police officers and CPD K9 units searched the area with the assistance of two drones from the Bargersville Fire Department. Although units were unable to locate Gillespie then, his vehicle and camper were seized, Jackson said.

Myers said an Everbridge alert was sent out in the general area near the campground because investigators had a strong feeling that Gillespie had not left the area. The alert would have been expanded if the information the department was receiving indicated Gillespie had moved outside that immediate area, the sheriff said.

Sgt. Greg Duke and deputies Dane Duke and Jarod Aspenson also assisted from the sheriff’s department. The U.S. Marshal’s Task Force also assisted.

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Kirk Johannesen is assistant managing editor of The Republic. He can be reached at johannesen@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5639.