Sexual battery suspect attempts getaway before being taken into custody

OKALOOSA ISLAND, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - According to the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office, a man wanted by the Fort Walton Beach Police Department attempted to make his getaway before being taken into custody on Okaloosa Island Friday.

Jeffrey Sowell, 50, was wanted on sexual battery and battery by strangulation charges.

Police learned Sowell was at an apartment on Billfish Avenue.

When Okaloosa County Sheriff's deputies arrived, they said Sowell quickly went back inside the home to flee out the back.

Once he encountered another deputy there, they said Sowell went inside again. Shortly after, he reportedly appeared on the roof before jumping into a neighboring yard in an attempt to escape.

Officials said when he entered that apartment's garage, residents demanded he leave and confronted him at gunpoint.

They said Sowell then ran towards the Santa Rosa Sound, was spotted by an OCSO Marine Unit, and then changed directions again.

Officials said they apprehended Sowell after a short foot pursuit.

In addition to his other charges, Sowell is now charged by OCSO with resisting arrest and trespassing.