Attempted kidnapping suspect in custody after manhunt

John B. Arnold, Jr.

A Starkville man accused of attempted kidnapping is in custody and could now face additional charges after police say he forcibly removed his court-mandated ankle monitor and attempted to elude a police manhunt.

The Starkville Police Department said in a press release Friday that John B. Arnold, Jr., was being electronically monitored as a condition of his bond being reinstated. Arnold's bond was initially revoked when the court claimed he violated the terms of his bond.

SPD Public Information Officer Brandon Lovelady said Arnold was spotted by deputies on Greenfield Street and was arrested without incident. Charges are pending in Arnold's case.

Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s deputies and Starkville Police officers could be seen searching the area of downtown Starkville near the intersection of Jackson Street and Main Street shortly before 5 p.m. on Friday.

While law enforcement searched buildings, some officers quickly left the area and a search began in the area near Brittany Lane off Old West Point Road.

The primary search area that saw the highest police presence was in the intersecting area of Dr. Martin Luther King Drive and Old West Point Road.

Arnold was previously charged with attempted kidnapping after he was accused of trying check out a first grade student at Sudduth Elementary without the guardian's permission, according to court documents obtained by the Starkville Daily News through a public records request.


As part of his bond being reinstated, a municipal judge said that Arnold cannot posses a weapon. He is not allowed to use drugs or alcohol. If Arnold leaves the state, he has to wave extradition. He was also supposed to be under a GPS monitor on his ankle, which became the center of Friday’s manhunt.

He can’t contact the victim or family of the victim and cannot go within 500 feet of the school or day care of the victim's child.

Arnold's bond was previously reinstated on these certain conditions.

SPD detective John Michael Lay said Arnold's bond terms were not to make any contact with the victim and the victim's family. Lay said Arnold asked if he could speak with the the victim's stepfather and was told no.

Lay also said Arnold went to Starkville Academy to attempt to check out the victim, but was notified the child did not attend the school anymore.

While gathering information on the arrest, Lay said they contacted the stepfather of the victim and while on the phone he said he was receiving a phone call from Arnold. He said the stepfather did not answer.

The phone call was made on Feb. 20, according to the detective's testimony.

Upon realizing the terms of the bond were violated, Municipal Court Judge Charles Haug had Arnold's bond revoked. Arnold's attorney Charles Yoste said the phone call was not a "material breach" because there is only speculation that Arnold is the one who made the phone call and not hard evidence.

Yoste said his client was apprehended in his office by the detective and two other officers.

Lay said the explanation for the arrest was due to a threat assessment SPD did and found he was "overly aggressive" and "armed and dangerous at times."

"We discovered there are numerous people around town who are scared of Arnold," Lay said.

When Haug asked Lay if Arnold had a criminal history, he said Arnold has been charged with assault, disorderly conduct, possession of a fire arm and a second degree charge of battery in Louisiana.

Yoste said these charges are not relevant due to when they occurred.

Haug said the entire case is a "concerning situation" but he did not want to have Arnold sit in jail until his first hearing.