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Front Royal school locked down during nearby domestic dispute

By Joe Beck

FRONT ROYAL -- A half-hour manhunt for a suspect in a domestic violence case ended near Ressie Jefferies Elementary School late Wednesday morning with the arrest of Jamie Scott Neale, 32, of Front Royal.

Chief Norman A. Shiflett said officers from his department and the Warren County Sheriff's Office tracked down Neale with the help of dogs after eyewitnesses reported seeing Neale run into the woods behind the Food Lion on Remount Road.

Shiflett said police were responding to a report at 9:53 a.m. from Neale's girlfriend that he had assaulted her and threatened to kill her in the area of some apartments on Royal Lane.

"He choked her, but she wasn't seriously injured," Shiflett said in an interview.

Police searched for Neale for about 30 minutes before Warren County Sgt. Josh Seal found him near the town park on West Criser Road, Shiflett said. Neale was taken into custody around 11:30 a.m., according to police dispatch records.

The suspect was "taken down without resistance," Shiflett said

Police were told that Neale may have had a gun, but investigators did not find one, Shiflett said.

Ressie Jefferies was locked down in what police described as a precautionary measure while they searched for Neale.

Shiflett said Neale was arrested near a park playground, but he had no interaction with any children.

"He was in close proximity to the school because the playground is a couple hundred yards from the school," Shiflett said of Neale.

Shiflett said Neale was booked into the Warren County Jail on a charge of assault and battery of a family member and additional charges are pending.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com


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