Warrant sweeps took dozens of violent offenders off metro streets during the month of October, according to the Oklahoma City Police Department’s Chief of Police Wade Gourley. Those arrested were wanted for domestic violence crimes.
Oklahoma City police and other metro agencies have seen a dramatic increase in domestic violence this year. Police officials attribute COVID to the increase.
All October for domestic violence awareness month, Oklahoma City police, U.S. Marshals and the U.S. Attorney’s Office have been sweeping the streets for offenders.
Authorities made 49 arrests. That number is up from 32 arrests in 2019. Jonathan Bates, 32, was one of them. The dangerous felon assaulted a woman only days after being convicted of domestic strangulation and kidnapping.
“He’s accused of violently assaulting the mother of his child in front of their child,” said Gourley.
A judge set Bate's bond at $500,000.
Another notable arrest was 30-year-old Gregory Knox.
“Mr. Knox is accused of firing 15 rounds into the home of his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend,” said Gourley. “Inside the home two teenagers were sitting on the coach in the living room.”
Knox was also accused of running an illegal marijuana grow and selling the drug.
Officials said it is not unusual for domestic violence offenders to be involved in other crimes. During the sweeps, police seized dozens of guns and drugs. They even found a missing and endangered 4-year-old child.
“These arrests gave victims the opportunity and their children a chance to escape what is often times a deadly situation,” said Jan Peery, YMCA OKC.
The police department’s community partners applauded their work on Friday in a press conference but said the work does not stop this month.
“We know this type of violence has no socio-economic background,” said Kim Garrett, Palomar OKC. “It does not discriminate based on race, religion, age or anything like that.”
Police said of the 49 people arrested, 17 will not be able to post bail.