Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

June 17, 2014

Concealed weapon steps up traffic stop

TAHLEQUAH — What started as a traffic stop last Friday quickly escalated when officers determined a man had concealed a gun in his waistline.

Tahlequah Officer Cory Keele was on patrol near York Street and Vinita when he noticed a suspicious vehicle parked near his location. Keele said there was no driver in the car, but there appeared to be at least one passenger. The officer watched for about 10 minutes before he saw a man carry a black case to the vehicle, throw it into the car and get in the driver’s seat.

Keele stopped the driver, identified as 20-year-old Patrick McHenry, of Tulsa, for failure to wear a seat belt. He noticed two small children in the backseat and requested a license, but McHenry allegedly admitted he didn’t have a license and said he only wanted to spend time with his children.

Keele confirmed McHenry had a suspended license and opted to write him two citations – one for driving under suspension and a second for no seat belt.

McHenry was asked to step out to sign the citations.

“[He] kept putting his hands in his pockets and messing with his waistline,” Keele said. “I advised McHenry to remove his hands from his pockets and he started getting upset, asking me what was going on.”

When Keele asked whether McHenry was carrying any weapons, McHenry told Keele he hadn’t done anything. During a patdown, Keele felt what he knew was a pistol.

“I told McHenry not to move, but he continued trying to pull his hands apart from his head,” said Keele. “I then yelled at Officer Bobby Robertson, ‘Gun!’ telling him that McHenry had a gun.”

Robertson pulled his own firearm to cover Keele, who was eventually able to get the gun from McHenry’s waistband and secure it.

When Keele searched McHenry, the officer found bags of methamphetamine in McHenry’s wallet and a glass pipe in the man’s back pocket. Officers determined the two children in McHenry’s vehicle were 3 and 5. Their mother was taken to the scene and took custody of them both.

Keele opened the black case McHenry had placed inside the vehicle and found numerous items, including multiple small bags, digital scales, two glass pipes with burnt residue, four bags of a crystal-like substance, a green leafy substance, a bag with a white crystal substance, pills and more.

McHenry was booked into jail for driving under the influence of drugs, driving under suspension, no seat belt, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled dangerous substance without a prescription, concealing a firearm, transporting a loaded firearm, possession of a firearm after a felony conviction, two counts of child endangerment and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Booking records show McHenry was given a $15,000 bond.

jnewton@tahlequahdailypress.com

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