Bland County police got a call on Wednesday about a man walking a dog. It turned out to be their man.
Officers found David Todd Ray and his pit bull on Kimberling Road at about 10:45 p.m.
Police had been combing the area since Sunday afternoon when Ray and the canine made a daring escape after being surrounded by law enforcement at a Bastian trailer park.
The 59-year-old was arraigned today on a string of felonies related to the escape and a search of his trailer that turned up drugs and thousands of dollars in cash.
“He was cold, hungry and wet when we picked him up,” said Deputy Jason Ramsey who went to Kimberling Road on Wednesday along with fellow Deputy Brandon Anders and state troopers.
Ray, who told police that he’d been surviving in the national forest since abandoning his car on Sunday, hadn’t eaten in three days and had been drinking stream water.
After getting a tip that Ray had methamphetamine and large sums of cash inside his residence, officers went to his 78 Colley’s Trailer Park Lane address on Sunday afternoon to execute a search warrant.
They waited until Ray returned home and surrounded his Chevrolet Camaro at gunpoint.
“Mr. Ray suddenly and without warning backed towards the officers before spinning sideways through the yard striking a parked boat and utility trailer,” officers wrote in a criminal complaint. “Mr. Ray continued into a field owned by Bastian Union Church before proceeding south onto South Scenic Highway. I along with Deputy Ramsey and Deputy Jennifer Brewster pursued Mr. Ray onto North Scenic Highway. We were never able to regain contact with Mr. Ray’s vehicle.”
Later on Sunday, though, Sheriff Tom Roseberry found Ray’s locked car in the Kimberling Springs area on a roadway off of Kimbering Road.
After Ray eluded them, officers went ahead and searched his trailer, which police said was protected with several surveillance cameras.
They reported finding $149,088 in cash, baggies of meth, four boxes of new syringes, glass smoking devices, laptop computers and digital scales. They also seized an ATV from Ray’s yard.
Deputy Ramsey said on Thursday that Ray had $1,751 in his wallet when he was arrested. He also had a cell phone but told police that he couldn’t get a signal in the woods.
Although he tried to hide his face from the officers, Ray didn’t resist when he was captured, Ramsey said. Animal control took the dog.
Ray was charged with possession with the intent to distribute drugs, felony eluding police, felony assault on law enforcement (eight counts) related to the officers outside his residence when he fled, possessing drugs within 1,000 feet of a daycare, obstruction of justice and reckless driving on church property.
Disabled and living in Bland County for 12 years, Ray reported income of $1,000 a month when he was taken before a magistrate after his capture. He said he owned his home and automobiles, and did not receive any public assistance.
“The accused states that he just panicked,” the magistrate wrote in court documents.
Ray is being held without bond on the Bland County charges and is also awaiting trial in Wythe County on charges of eluding police and reckless driving stemming from a June police chase on U.S. 21 that reached speeds in excess of 120 miles per hour, according to police.
He was driving the same Camaro.
Court records show that Ray has felony convictions in Tazewell and Pulaski counties.
In 2004 he was convicted in Tazewell County of distributing the powerful narcotic painkiller oxycodone, and receiving stolen property. In 2003, he was convicted of grand larceny and conspiracy to commit grand larceny in Pulaski County Circuit Court.
Ray got suspended prison sentences in both counties and was placed on probation, according to court records.
Jeffrey Simmons can be reached at 228-6611, extension 19, or firstname.lastname@example.org.