Lake Shore Drive open after nearly 9-hour standoff - New York News

Lake Shore Drive open after nearly 9-hour standoff, suspect in custody

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Joseph Andrew Felton, Jr. (Courtesy: Henry County Police Department) Joseph Andrew Felton, Jr. (Courtesy: Henry County Police Department)
A SWAT vehicle carves its way through northbound traffic on Lake Shore Drive and exits off the 2400 block of Fullerton. (George Slefo - Sun-Times) A SWAT vehicle carves its way through northbound traffic on Lake Shore Drive and exits off the 2400 block of Fullerton. (George Slefo - Sun-Times)
A woman driving with a child and elderly woman were rear-ended by a vehicle that later fled the scene near the 1600 block of North Avenue on Lake Shore Drive. (George Slefo - Sun-Times) A woman driving with a child and elderly woman were rear-ended by a vehicle that later fled the scene near the 1600 block of North Avenue on Lake Shore Drive. (George Slefo - Sun-Times)
CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Lake Shore Drive is open again early Monday, after a nearly nine-hour standoff with a fugitive in a car that ended when Chicago Police took him into custody Sunday night.

Chicago Police Bureau of Patrol Chief Wayne Gulliford said the man was wanted for a homicide in Georgia.

Police from the Henry County Sheriff's Office in Georgia identified the fugitive in the car as Joseph Andrew Felton Jr., 43. Henry County police told FOX 5 News he was a suspect in the death of his wife, Sheray Latriest Felton, who was slain — allegedly during a domestic dispute — on Saturday.

Police in south suburban Harvey — alerted by authorities in Georgia to be on the lookout for Felton's car — spotted the automobile and chased it nearly 20 miles before it crashed yards from the Theatre on the Lake just north of Fullerton on Lake Shore Drive shortly after 1 p.m.

Gulliford said the car struck multiple vehicles during the pursuit, including a Chicago police vehicle, injuring an officer. He said the officer was treated at an area hospital for injuries that weren't life-threatening. The car also hit a civilian vehicle carrying two adults and 10-year-old child. They also were treated at an area hospital for injuries that weren't life-threatening.

Moments after the crash, the car — its front and rear ends smashed in — was surrounded by dozens of police cars. Two armored police vehicles moved in. A SWAT team stood by.

Gulliford said the man in the car "told negotiators he was armed with a large number of guns was not coming out alive."

Chicago police would confirm only that the man was armed with knives. Police said the man sustained lacerations, but Gulliford said, "It appears any injuries sustained were self-inflicted or a result of his own actions."

"The suspect did threaten to harm himself and police if they approached," Gulliford said.

Asked if a flash grenade was used to stun the suspect before SWAT removed him from the vehicle, he said "a distraction device" was used.

Police reopened Lake Shore Drive to traffic about 4:20 a.m. following the investigation.

During the standoff, police negotiators tried to persuade the man in the car to surrender peacefully.

"Will you come out, please?" a negotiator said Sunday afternoon, aiming a bullhorn at the wrecked car. "We're not going to hurt you. . . . We'll get you some water, something to eat. What do you think of that?"

Every few minutes, police tried again. "What do you say, Joe? You getting cold? . . . We're trying to reach you. Pick up your phone."

A SWAT officer on the scene told a Sun-Times reporter that the man inside the car was bloody and probably had some broken bones.

"We are not leaving. Do you understand that?. . . All your family is here waiting for you," a police negotiator said.

"We're not leaving until you come out safely," an officer added later.

"Your family's out here and really cold," a police negotiator later said. "If you want to see your family, wave your hand."

The police also told him: "They're worried about you. They want to make sure you're OK."

Lastella Felton spoke to her brother on the phone at some point during Sunday afternoon's standoff.

"I spoke to him over on Lake Shore Drive but he's not making sense. He can't really talk in complete sentences. He's just yelling and screaming. Very discombobulated at this point," Lastella Felton told FOX 32 News. "I think he might have cut his wrist in the car, I'm not sure - he did say that. I think he's mostly scared to come out and dealing with his criminal background and how he's lived his life he's just afraid."

On Sunday morning, before the police chase began, Felton placed a call to his mother-in-law, according to Sheray Felton's sister, Nancy Mays. "I loved your daughter," he told her, Mays said.

"I'm going to be joining her soon," he allegedly said.

"We figured he was going to be headed back this way," Mays said.

Authorities said Felton lived in the Chicago area with his wife until a few months ago. Mays said her sister moved to Georgia a few months ago to get away from Felton, but he later followed her there.

"He's a very controlling person, and she wanted to get away from the controlling situation," Mays said.

Sheray sought an order of protection against Felton last May in Will County, but it was dismissed when no one appeared in court, records show.

Felton was charged with misdemeanor domestic battery in Will County in July. Steger Police Chief Gregory Rambo said Felton was accused of slapping Sheray and pulling her wig off at a liquor store in the south suburb.

Sheray told police that Felton's violence "had been increasing" and that he had spit in her face earlier in the day in Chicago. That domestic battery charge was later dismissed because of a lack of a complaining witness, according to court records.

Mays struggled through tears Sunday to talk about her sister. Sheray had a 21-year-old son, she said, and two puppies that she loved.

Mays said she loved Sheray "very, very dearly."

The standoff meant hours of waiting for everyone involved and the hundreds and hundreds of people stuck in their cars, wondering what's going on.

"It was just bumper to bumper at like a standstill, I've been in traffic for two hours from Belmont to where I am now," Clarence Weaver told FOX 32. "The police just diverted all the traffic to the side streets."

Lincoln Park resident Craig Sokol said he heard demands over loudspeakers and watched it all unfold from his condo.

"I looked out my window about three hours ago and saw that there was no traffic on Lake Shore Drive and the last time I saw that was 9/11," Sokol said. "There were no cars on Lake Shore Drive so it kind of seemed real strange."

When Sokol ventured out to walk his dog he was turned away by police.

"I just feel terrible for the people in the front of the line. I can see where the cars are stopped," Sokol said around 4 p.m. Sunday. "They've been sitting there for three hours and they can't move."

FOX 32's Tisha Lewis contributed to this report. 

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