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SFD bloodhounds, Harrison County K-9 aid capture of sex offender

SFD bloodhounds, Harrison County K-9 aid capture of sex offender

POSTED: Friday, March 9, 2012 - 1:00am

UPDATED: Friday, March 9, 2012 - 1:04am

A registered sex offender in Louisiana was captured today by Harrison County, Texas, deputies, after a car chase and a leap into the woods, where he was sniffed out by Harrison County's K-9 unit and Shreveport Fire Department bloodhounds.

Bradley Gary-Joe Varnell, 30, is currently being questioned in connection with the sexual assault of a 72-year-old woman in her home on Highway 134.

Apparently, the suspect's day started early; Harrison County 911 operators were first notified by a call at approximately 4:30 this morning (March 8, 2012) regarding a sexual assault that had just occurred on Hwy 134 close to the intersection of FM 1793.

Harrison County deputies arrived at the location and found the victim to be a 72-year-old white female that stated she was awakened by a white male who had entered her house.

The victim said the suspect was standing at her bed, holding a knife and demanding to have sex with her. The suspect then fled the scene. The victim called 911 and was taken to Good Shepherd hospital for an examination.

Deputies had a description of a white male 25-30 years old with a bald head and that he fled toward Hwy 134.

At approximately 7:30 this morning, Lt. Floyd Duncan was driving south on Blackjack Road and observed a white male walking on the roadway who matched the general description of the suspect.

Duncan stopped to identify and speak with the person. The person stated his vehicle had broken down and was walking to his residence on Swendson and Blackjack Roads. He asked the person for identification and to get in his patrol car.

The person then became very agitated and began to fight with Duncan as he was attempting to take him into custody. The suspect broke free from Duncan and ran into a wooded area.

The suspect was able to get back to his vehicle and flee. Another deputy, on his way to the location to provide assistance observed a maroon pickup truck driving east on Swendson Road. The second deputy attempted to stop the vehicle; however, the suspect fled from that deputy and drove into a road ditch.

At that point, the suspect jumped from the truck and ran back into the woods to the east of Blackjack Road. Numerous responding units were able to seal off the roadways and establish a perimeter.

A search was begun with the assistance of Harrison County K-9 units and the Shreveport Fire Department bloodhound team. Deputies were able to establish a location of the suspect after the K-9 units traced his route through the woods.

Deputies found the suspect in a home on Forbes Pit Road, approximately 1 miles from the original location where he was stopped by Lt. Duncan at approximately 11:55 am.

Varnell, was taken into custody at that time and transported to the Harrison County Jail for questioning regarding the sexual assault.

A registered sex offender, Varnell is current on that registration. His original sexual offense occurred in Louisiana

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