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Caller crucial in arrest: Intervention might have saved woman, child

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A Columbus man is facing criminal charges after allegedly abusing his girlfriend, as well as threatening to shoot her and push her young nephew off a balcony.

Freddie McKinzie, 33, of Tabia Court, was arrested on preliminary charges of domestic battery, intimidation with a deadly weapon, resisting law enforcement, fleeing and two counts of carrying a handgun without a license.

Shortly before 11:30 p.m. Saturday night, Columbus police received a call from a resident of the Candlelight Village Mobile Home Park, off Rocky Ford Road. The caller said he had just seen a man with a gun chasing a woman in the 2600 block of Rosedale Drive, shouting that he was going to shoot her.

After Sgt. Brian Wilder and Officer Wesley Dodge arrived, they spotted McKinzie, who matched the description given by the caller.

At first, McKinzie refused to acknowledge the officer’s presence, according to Columbus Police Lt. Matt Meyers. He added that after Dodge ordered McKinzie to stop, the suspect began to run west. Dodge began a chase on foot as several other officers arrived, but lost track of the suspect in the area of Nicholas Lane.

Meyers said that after police set up a perimeter, Officer Branch Schraeder and police dog Nitro began tracking the suspect from where he was last seen.

The dog led police to Middle Road, where Lt. Dan Meister saw McKinzie north of the trailer park. Both Meister and Officer Steve Long confronted the suspect at gunpoint and took him into custody.

Once the witnesses identified McKinzie, he was placed in a patrol car to be taken to the Bartholomew County Jail. During the drive, McKinzie remained violent and uncooperative. Myers said that after McKinzie tried to kick the windows out of the patrol car, officers stopped the vehicle so they could secure his legs.

The 24-year-old purported victim told police that she had an off-and-on relationship with McKinzie and had been in an argument in her home, that turned physical. She told police that McKinzie had earlier battered her and threatened to shoot her.

The girlfriend also told investigators that McKinzie also threatened to throw her six-year-old nephew from a balcony. After that threat, he allegedly pushed her outside, shut the front door and locked it.

After the woman told police that she knew McKinzie owned two guns, officers began to search the area along Middle Road where he was captured. With the help of the police dog, Nitro, officers located two weapons 50 feet apart in an area off Middle Road. One was a .45-caliber and the other a .22-caliber handgun.

While Myers applauded the efforts of his men, he gave most of the credit to the unknown caller who alerted police of the dangerous situation.

“This guy should be commended because he probably stopped some very bad things from happening,” Myers said. “This guy was armed, volatile and out of control. So the person who called may have save that lady’s life.”

Meyers added that he hopes more residents of Bartholomew County follow the caller’s example whenever they see a potentially dangerous situation.

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