Fugitive captured after he drops from ceiling into Stafford Co. church

A Spotsylvania man was apprehended by deputies in Fredericksburg, Virginia, after he dropped from the ceiling into a church during services Saturday evening.

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office said that around 7:30 p.m. Saturday, it received a tip that 52-year-old Troy Longwell, who had active warrants for his arrest in four different counties, was at a beauty salon at a strip mall on Warrenton Road near Interstate 95 in Fredericksburg, a news release said.

When sheriff’s deputies arrived, they surrounded the shopping center, and the salon owner allowed deputies into the beauty salon.

Once inside, officers observed a ceiling tile out of place and Longwell’s leg in the crawl space of the ceiling. Law enforcement ordered Longwell to come out, but his leg disappeared into the crawl space as he appeared to move toward the church, which was in the adjacent suite of the shopping mall.

Deputies ran next door and found Longwell, “shirtless and out of breath,” during the middle of a church service.

The sheriff’s office said Longwell had dropped into a room behind the church’s sanctuary and had walked into the service in progress, where deputies finally arrested him.

After further investigation, a suspected controlled substance was found in the entrance to the ceiling’s crawl space where Longwell had attempted to escape, according to the release.

Fredericksburg, King George, Spotsylvania and Fredericksburg counties served seven active warrants for Longwell once he was in custody. In addition, Longwell was charged with possession of a controlled substance and obstruction in Stafford County.

Longwell is being held without bond at the Rappahannock Regional Jail.

Below is the area where the arrest happened:

Luke Lukert

Since joining WTOP Luke Lukert has held just about every job in the newsroom from producer to web writer and now he works as a full-time reporter. He is an avid fan of UGA football. Go Dawgs!

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