Posted at: 09/02/2014 5:43 AM
Updated at: 09/02/2014 10:59 AM
(ABC 6 News) - A wanted fugitive, who had been on the run from local police for months, has been captured half way across the country.
The search for 48-year-old Gregory Ahlers began in dramatic fashion back in May when police in Rochester tried to arrest him at a home in the southwest part of town.
Ahlers allegedly fled, prompting police to set up a perimeter and search for him in a heavily wooded area.
Ahlers was also believed to have been in Byron at one point, but he continued to evade police until early Sunday morning when officials captured Ahlers in Corona, CA.
"We had a whole bunch of information on Mr. Ahlers,” said Stew Peters, a bounty hunter with U.S. Fugitive Recovery & Extradition, who captured Ahlers. “The phones were ringing off the hook and we can't thank the public enough for the hundreds of phone calls that we had.”
On Monday night, Ahlers was taken to the Mower County jail for processing, but Peters says his capture wasn't without incident.
"Mr. Ahlers turned for a weapon that looked like a stick that had a long metal claw on the end of it, and we're not playing games with Mr. Ahlers,” Peters said. “So one the California entry team guys fired a non-lethal round… that was deployed to Mr. Ahlers' belly, and at that point he fell to the ground and was taken into custody."
Ahlers, who is from Lake City, had warrants for his arrest in both Olmsted and Wabasha counties.
Authorities said he could have posed a threat if he got behind the wheel, making Peters and others all the more happy to put the ordeal behind them.
"Mr. Ahlers is a very, very dangerous person when he's on the run,” Peters said. “And we had information that he was armed with handguns, so safety of the public, safety of law enforcement, safety of my team, and safety for Mr. Ahlers was at the top of mind for this apprehension."
Official charges and court dates for Ahlers will likely be set on Tuesday.