CLEVELAND – A convicted sex offender wanted for the rape of a Painesville woman since 2011 was captured by U.S. Marshals after a SWAT team standoff in Cleveland Thursday afternoon.
On Monday, Pete Elliott, the U.S. Marshal of Northern Ohio, asked for the public's help to find Melvin Allen, 29.
Elliott said the tips came pouring in and led to Allen’s capture on White Avenue about 1:30 p.m.
Allen previously served time in prison for a sex crime against a minor.
"A couple of nights ago, we got tips he was in Ashtabula, a house in Ashtabula. Evidently, he was watching himself on TV and saw himself on TV and left that residence. So we continued to follow-up on more tips we received. That led to Cleveland," Elliott said.
"They had the guns around their legs, around their waist, and we were like, "What's going on? You know?" neighbor Earline Ponder said.
Elliott said they had Allen cornered in the attic, but he refused to give up.
"The SWAT team poked though the attic. He would still not come out. We could see him in there. We knew he was in there," Elliott said.
Officers made their move and got their man.
They could be seen taking a shirtless Allen from the house, patting him down and placing him under arrest.
"Seen them bring the guy out that they was looking for. He was all dirty, like he had been hiding or something," neighbor William Lockett said.
Authorities said they also found a gun in the house.
People on White Avenue were shocked to see the SWAT team rolling up, just as many of them were getting ready to have their 4th of July barbeques.
"I see a battering ram truck, or whatever, people in bulletproof vests and it was really shocking," Lockett said.
Authorities allege Allen broke into a Painesville woman's apartment in December of 2011 and raped her, then went on the run.
Elliott said Allen may face more charges related to other possible sex crimes as well.
"When you talked to me a couple of nights ago, I said we need your help, we need the help of the public, and that's what happened," Elliott said.