Wanted child molester arrested following standoff - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Wanted child molester arrested following standoff

By Cade Fowler - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – A man police call a dangerous sexual predator is off the streets and in jail.

Police asked for the public's help Monday in locating 32-year-old Thomas Stone. He was wanted by Dougherty County Police for child molestation.

By late Monday afternoon, police tracked him to an abandoned house in East Albany where he initially refused to surrender.

It was a tense situation that started inside a boarded up town home off Oglethorpe Boulevard around 7 o'clock.

Several law enforcement officials from local and state agencies cornered the wanted child molester who was holding a knife to his throat.

"This person is extremely dangerous. He's dangerous to children. He's dangerous to anyone who may come into contact with him in a situation like this," said Dougherty County Police Chief Don Cheek.

Convicted in 1994, Stone served 15 years in prison for aggravated child molestation. On August 17th, a little over a year after his release, police say he molested a 13-year-old girl.

A multi-agency operation involving local law enforcement, U.S. Marshals, GBI agents, and state probation officers was set up to track him down.

"They had been doing canvassing at a lot of places we thought he may be. They had split up into teams and had been working together extensively all afternoon," said Cheek.

Police won't say exactly what lead to them the Enclave on Oglethorpe, a failed town home development on Albany's eastside, where Stone was holed up.

Surrounded by dozens of law enforcement officers, a negotiator was called in to talk Stone into surrendering. Shortly after 8:30, nearly an hour and a half after the situation started, a shirtless Stone dropped the knife. He was handcuffed and placed in the back of a police van.

"This was kind of a fluid situation. Fortunately tonight we were able to take him in without any injuries to anybody," said Cheek.

It was peaceful ending, but it's only the beginning of serious charges this convicted sex offender is facing.

Stone had been living in Lee County but was supposed to be in Dougherty County. To go along with child molestation charges, he's also looking at failing to properly register as a sex offender and probation violations.

Stone was just 16 when he was convicted of aggravated child molestation in Dougherty County back in 1994.

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