One of South Mississippi's most wanted fugitives is in custody after a standoff with police in Jackson on Thursday afternoon.
Melvin Patrick Mason, who is accused of slipping out of court Monday in Hancock County after a judge ordered him to take a drug test, turned himself over to authorities after a five-hour standoff with police in Jackson.
Jackson Police Department Assistant Chief Lee Vance said the Violent Crimes Task Force received information Mason was in the area about 1:30 p.m. Thursday.
They found him at the home on Hawthorne where his girlfriend and another woman
lived. When they approached him, he barricaded himself inside the house.
One neighbor, before being evacuated from his own home, said he saw Mason talking to police through a window, saying he was not coming out.
The FBI's Hostage Negotiation Team spoke with Mason at length and persuaded him to release the woman in the house with him, but he refused to come out.
After several hours, Vance said, authorities decided negotiations had run their course, and the SWAT team was sent in to extract him from the home.
"It was decided that the negotiations, so to speak, had reached a dead end, and we activated the Jackson/Hinds SWAT team," Vance said. "They went to the house where he was and shortly thereafter took him into custody."
Mason was armed, Vance said, which made the extraction dangerous, but SWAT team members were able to get him out without incident. Mason did at one point threaten to kill himself, Vance said, though he showed no interest in hurting the woman who was barricaded with him for some time.
Mason had been out of jail on bond since his arrested him on a fugitive warrant on child sex-crime charges in May 2012.
He had showed up for his arraignment Monday in Hancock County Circuit Court to enter a plea on 10 counts of touching of a child for lustful purposes and three counts of sexual battery.
Assistant District Attorney Chris Daniel said the judge ordered a drug test and an officer was called to court to perform the test but officials learned Mason had disappeared.
Mason will be held in Jackson on the Hancock County warrant until he can be brought back to the Coast, Vance said.