WEST MONROE, La. (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - A quick change of lanes to make a sudden turn onto an exit ramp made a West Monroe, La., police officer to initiate a standard traffic stop — what the officer didn't know is the stop would put an end to an 11 hour manhunt for James Calvert, who reportedly gunned down his ex wife in Tyler Wednesday before kidnapping his 4-year-old son.
"The officer initiated the traffic stop and the suspect refused to yield to law enforcement. At first the pursuit was at speeds of 10 MPH, but it did increase. Lucky for us Calvert took a turn onto a dead end street and his vehicle became high centered on a driveway which disabled the vehicle," he said.
Gabb said officers surrounded the vehicle and requested Calvert give up, but the man refused so police busted the window and forcefully removed him from the vehicle.
"One of our officers had seen the Amber Alert during briefing and thought the boy looked familiar. That is how we came to realize this man was wanted in Texas for murder and kidnapping," he said.
Tyler police said Wednesday that Calvert went to his ex wife, 30-year-old Jelena Radobanovic Sriraman's home on Bain Place and shot her dead before fleeing the location with their son Lucas.
An Amber Alert was issued and law enforcement from local, state and federal agencies began looking for the man and child in hopes of recovering the child and ending the manhunt.
Gabb said when Lucas was found he was in an Ironman Halloween costume in a car seat in the back of the 2000 Buick LeSabre Calvert had fled in.
Gabb said Lucas was taken to the police department and officers and dispatchers took care of the boy until Child Protective Services workers could arrive.
"We are a small department with only 82 sworn officers so we are like a family unit. We just took the child in and made him feel as comfortable as we could," he said.
Gabb said his agency has opted not to charge Calvert for the pursuit to help expedite the extradition process to Texas. He added Calvert, who is under arrest on a capital murder warrant with a $2 million bond, has not cooperated with officials since taken into custody.
"Again God was on our side that this ended like it did," he said.