A 38-year-old Ottawa man who was suspected of making criminal threats on social media to “shoot up” Ransom Memorial Hospital was taken into custody by Ottawa Police officers at 8:22 p.m. Saturday.
The suspect, Jeremy Penland — who also made threats earlier in the day to shoot police officers — was apprehended near South Cedar Street after a brief foot pursuit, according to police. He remained in custody Saturday night.
Before attempts were made to locate Penland and confirm the threats, RMH chose to lock down the facility at 7:17 p.m., Ottawa Police Chief Dennis Butler said in a news release. Ottawa Police officers and Franklin County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the hospital to protect the staff and patients from potential harm, the release said.
A separate team of officers were assembled to locate Penland. During this effort a vehicle was seen leaving the house of a Penland associate, according to the release.
At 8:18 p.m. officers made a traffic stop on East Second Street near the intersection with South Cedar Street. The driver of the car was cooperative, but a man ignored officers’ instructions and exited the car, according to the release. Butler said the man was recognized by officers, deputies and Kansas Highway Patrol troopers as Penland.
Penland would not follow officers’ instructions and concealed one of his hands behind his back before fleeing down an alley between East Second and East Third streets, Butler said. Penland ran west between houses and was apprehended near South Cedar Street after being subdued with a Taser and taken into custody at 8:22 p.m., according to the release.
Penland was transported to jail on suspicion of making criminal threats in the RMH incident, Butler said. He was also arrested on charges in other cases from earlier in the day and in the past several days, he said.
Those cases included: Case No. 1 involved arrests for aggravated assault, criminal threat, aggravated endangering a child, domestic battery and reckless driving, according to the release. Case No. 2 involved criminal threats to shoot Ottawa Police officers at the Ottawa Law Enforcement Center. Case No. 3 involved felony interference with law enforcement and resisting arrest.
Per department protocol Penland was taken to RMH for a medical evaluation because of the Taser deployment. The driver of the car was cooperative and released from the scene of the traffic stop, according to the release.
Anyone with information on these cases is asked to contact the Ottawa Police Department at (785) 242-1700.
No bond had been set as of Saturday evening for Penland, according to the release.