Man in police custody after Lake Shore Drive standoff
BY MATT MCKINNEY, MITCH DUDEK, REEMA AMIN, BRIAN SLODYSKO aND GEORGE SLEFO Sun-Times Media March 16, 2014 10:56PM
Officers converge on the scene on Lake Shore Drive where a suspected armed fugitive is wanted for murder. | Alex Wroblewski / For Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 18, 2014 6:26AM
A nearly nine-hour police standoff along Lake Shore Drive ended when police took a man— thought to be a fugitive wanted in the murder of his wife in Georgia — into custody Sunday night.
Georgia police from the Henry County Sheriff’s Office said earlier Sunday that the fugitive in the car was Joseph Andrew Felton Jr., 43, a suspect in the death of his wife, Sheray Latriest Felton, who was slain, allegedly during a domestic dispute on Saturday. Chicago Police have not yet confirmed that, but during the standoff they addressed the man inside the car as “Joe.”
Police in south suburban Harvey — alerted by authorities in Georgia to be on the lookout for his car — spotted the automobile and chased it nearly 20 miles before it crashed just yards from the Theatre on the Lake just north of Fullerton on Lake Shore Drive shortly after 1 p.m.
Police would not confirm reports that officers fired on the car.
Moments after the crash, the car — its front and rear ends smashed in — was surrounded by dozens of police cars. Two armored police vehicles moved in. A SWAT team stood by. News helicopters buzzed overhead. And curious bystanders shrugged off freezing temperatures and a bitter wind chill as they gathered near Diversey Harbor for a better view. Pedestrians on the lakefront path were turned back by police.
The standoff created a traffic nightmare on Lake Shore Drive with police diverting traffic well away from the scene throughout the standoff.
During the standoff, a voice on a police loudspeaker could be heard every few minutes: “What do you say, Joe? You getting cold? . . . We’re trying to reach you. Pick up your phone. . . . All your family is here waiting for you.”
A SWAT officer on the scene told a Sun-Times reporter that the man inside the car was bloody and probably has some broken bones. It was unclear if he was armed.
At one point, as the standoff stretched into its fourth hour, a truck hauled port-a-potties to the scene. “We are not leaving — do you understand that?. . . All your family is here waiting for you,” the police negotiator said.
On Sunday morning, before the police chase began, Felton placed a call to his mother-in-law, according to Sheray Felton’s sister, Nancy Mays.
“I loved your daughter,” he told her. “I’m going to be joining her soon.”
Mays said her sister moved to Georgia a few months ago to get away from Felton, but that he later followed her there.
“He’s a very controlling person, and she wanted to get away from a controlling situation,” Mays said.
Felton has a history of domestic abuse. He was charged with misdemeanor battery in July, accused of slapping Sheray and pulling her wig off in a liquor store in Will County, according to Steger Police Chief Gregory Rambo.
Two months before that incident, Sheray had sought an order of protection against Felton in Will County that was later dismissed because no one appeared in court, records show.