UTICA — A man accused of separate incidents of carjacking and shooting is in custody after a more than six-hour manhunt in Utica.
Christopher Applegate, 33, was arrested without incident around 2:30 p.m. Monday after police found him hiding in a grassy area in the Utica neighborhood of Quarry Bluff Estates. Formal charges had not been filed as of Monday evening.
The first report came in at 8:45 a.m., from a person who was walking across the Lewis and Clark Bridge and looked down and saw some type of conflict in the area below, said Clark County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Scottie Maples.
The suspect is believed to have been involved in a series of crimes throughout the early morning. Maples said Applegate crashed one vehicle on Upper River Road and when a passerby stopped to assist, Applegate is said to have carjacked that person, crashing that vehicle shortly thereafter on the same road. He’s also connected with crashing a third vehicle and shooting a woman in the leg, who was taken to University of Louisville Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Maples was unable to provide a timeline for the events Monday afternoon, but said the case is under investigation and expects to have more details available in the coming days.
A River Road resident said that around 2 p.m. that she had seen multiple police cars — marked and unmarked, as well as helicopters and river patrol.
“My neighbor told me to go home and lock up so I’ve been in,” she said. “[I’m] a little nervous because they could be hiding anywhere in these woods up here.”
Maples said after police established a perimeter around several areas where they believed the suspect could be hiding, they spoke with residents in those areas to let them know to be on the lookout and to make sure he hadn’t broken into any homes. The Clark County Sheriff’s Office and Jeffersonville Police Department also posted on social media to alert people in Utica or those in the east area of River Ridge.
This is how 11-year-old Tuff Adams knew something might be suspicious when he saw a man hiding in a bushy area on Bluff Ridge Road in Quarry Bluff, where he had been helping his father put up drywall at a construction site there.
Adams said they’d heard about it in the morning but didn’t know if the suspect police were looking for had been caught yet; he wondered if that was him.
“He was walking down through there,” Adams said, pointing to an area across the road with trees and bushes. “And after that we walked around the corner and he must have ran because I never saw him again.”
Applegate was arrested several houses away, in an area on the other side of a fence that surrounds the neighborhood.
“That’s what makes things like this successful,” Maples said “Like [telling residents] ‘hey if you see something call us, also you need to be aware.’”
Online court records show Applegate also had an active warrant out of Floyd County for a June 14 incident in which he was charged with a level 3 felony for aggravated battery. In that case, police say he and another person who has since been arrested were connected with the shooting of a man in New Albany.
Agencies assisting the Clark County Sheriff’s Office Monday included Utica Police Department, Jeffersonville Police Department, Clarksville Police Department, Indiana State Police, Charlestown City Police, Conservation officers and Floyd County Sheriff’s Department.