Some scary moments Saturday morning in one Panama City neighborhood as police searched for an armed ex-convict on the run. It all started when the ex-convict 31 year old Phillip Mathes tried to break into a car parked along Stephen Drive near Lisenby Avenue.
Traffic along Lisenby Avenue was diverted as police scoured the neighborhood and nearby woods, looking for the Mathes. Investigators say residents along Stephen Drive in Panama City called police after witnessing the suspect breaking into a vehicle. When police arrived at the scene, they confronted him.
"Speaking to him about his possible involvement, he become irritated that I was speaking to him and started wrestling with myself,” said Officer Chris Taylor with the Panama City Police Department. “During the course of us wrestling, his sweatshirt comes off and I observe a firearm on him."
According to Taylor, after the scuffle, Mathes reached for the firearm before running into the woods. The Panama City Police Department and Bay County Sheriff's Office both responded to the incident, bringing out their SWAT team and their K-9s to find the suspect. The K-9s found Mathes hiding under some trash in the woods. Investigators say he resisted commands and efforts of officers during his arrest and received injuries from the K-9.
"We immobilized in the wooded area and the suspect was located in the wooded area and taken into custody."
Police transported the suspect to the hospital for medical attention before taking him to the Bay County Jail. Investigators want to assure residents in the area that they are safe and the threat has been taken care of.
Charges against Mathes are extensive including aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting an officer with violence, battery on a law enforcement officer, and armed burglary of a vehicle.