Police: Dover Manhunt Suspects Arrested After Atlantic City Standoff

On May 6, 2021, Delaware authorities reported that they were seeking information regarding two subjects that fled from U.S. Marshals in Dover.

At the time police said that Maryland’s Cecil County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by the Dover Police Department in reference to an attempt to locate two fugitives who fled from police. Cecil County Sheriff Chief Deputy Gerald Widdoes said Maryland authorities were told that at least one of the subjects was wanted in connection with a Delaware shooting investigation.

Shortly after the pursuit, Dover Police issued a statement alerting the public that they were seeking two wanted suspects connected to an ongoing firearms investigation. The two were identified as Rahiem Jackson, 23, and Maya Hairston, 24, both of Dover. Jackson was wanted on Violation of Probation and Possession of Firearm by Person Prohibited charges. Hairston was wanted for Resisting Arrest and Disregard Police Officer’s Signal.

At the time officials said members of the United States Marshal’s Service Task Force attempted to arrest Jackson and Hairston. Officials said the subject fled in a vehicle driving down the sidewalk of a Dover business to avoid being pinned in by police. Units lost the suspect vehicle, however, it was spotted again a short while later and another pursuit began, this time entering into Maryland where the suspects were able to evade police again, officials said.

A Delaware State Police helicopter spotted the suspects on Joe Meltz Road in Warwick, Cecil County, Maryland near the Delaware State Line. Kent County Sheriff’s Office units were the first on scene and observed the two suspects fleeing on foot into a heavily wooded area.

A reverse 911 call to residents in the immediate area notified residents to shelter in place while units were working in the area. CCSO subsequently received several 911 calls from local residents indicating that they heard individuals near their residences. Several residences were checked as well as numerous outbuildings, sheds, garages, and barns on Joe Meltz Road as well as Edgar Price Road. That process tactically took hours, according to Widdoes.

A bloodhound search was initially performed from the abandoned vehicle which lead deputies and troopers into the heavily wooded area. The track was lost between Joe Meltz Road and the Delaware State line. Aviation units from both states utilized FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared) in an attempt to locate the suspects. After an approximate 6-hour ground and air search, the operation was called off.

Late last month Jackson and Hairston were arrested after refusing to surrender to law enforcement, said Atlantic City Police Spokesman Lieutenant Kevin Fair.

Fair said on Wednesday, June 30, 2021, at 7:37 am, Atlantic City patrol officers responded to the 100-north block of Georgia Avenue to assist United States Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force members who were attempting to arrest the pair. Fair said that Jackson was wanted for a weapons offense. Hairston was wanted for charges stemming from the vehicle pursuit, according to Fair.

Jackson and Hairston refused commands to exit the residence, said Fair. Due to the nature of the charges and prior interactions with law enforcement, Task Force members established a perimeter. The Atlantic City Police Department Emergency Response Team was activated consisting of the SWAT Team, Crisis Negotiation Team, and Bomb Squad.

After almost two hours of talking to members of the Crisis Negotiation Team, Hairston surrendered and was taken into custody, said Fair. Negotiators attempted to engage Jackson for several more hours without success. At approximately 1:15 pm, SWAT Team members entered the residence and Jackson was located hiding under the kitchen sink. He was taken into custody without incident.

During the Atlantic City incident, the roadways surrounding the area were closed to vehicles. Residents in the immediate area were also evacuated or told to remain in their homes.

Jackson and Hairston were placed in the Atlantic County Justice Facility while awaiting extraction to Delaware. Delaware court records show that Jackson was taken into custody at the Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown on July 6, 2021, just after 5:00. It’s not clear when Hairston was returned to Delaware. She was released from custody and is scheduled for a court hearing next month.

It’s not clear why Dover authorities did not report the pair’s arrest in June.

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First State Update's Delaware editorial team covers New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County breaking news, political news, and general news stories. We bring the reader the latest news from the Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Rehoboth Beach and all point in between. If you have news to share, email us at [email protected].

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