Cops: Man fled toward school with drugs


A man is accused of fleeing police, running toward a school loaded with illegal drugs after he got pulled over Wednesday. 

He said he was looking for his kids, according to the Maricopa Police Department. 

Maricopa cops arrested 55-year-old Gerard Long after a routine traffic stop turned into a short-lived game of hide-and-seek — and more than a half-dozen criminal charges. 

Police stopped a white SUV near Honeycutt Road and Duncan Drive around 5 p.m., according to a probable cause statement. Cops said the vehicle had suspended plates, cancelled insurance and expired registration. 

Long allegedly stopped his car, jumped out and fled on foot. Long ignored cops’ orders to get back in his car and said he “had to find his kids,” according to police documents. 

Officers told Long he was under arrest, but the suspect allegedly booked it toward a nearby school. Police did not specify which school, but Butterfield Elementary School is near the location of his arrest. 

Police quickly found Long, who was carrying a baggie of what appeared to be crystal meth. Long told police the bag did not belong to him. He said he fled because he knew he had a warrant. 

During a search of the SUV, cops found a glass pipe with black and white residue, and a piece of tinfoil with black streak marks in the center console. Long told police the pipe was not his but took ownership of the tinfoil. 

Police booked Long into the Pinal County jail on seven charges: possessing dangerous drugs, possessing drug paraphernalia, resisting arrest, driving with a suspended license, failing to comply and identify himself, and a warrant for probation violation. 

He faces five years in prison. 

Long has two court dates scheduled next week. He will face a Pinal County Superior Court judge Thursday and Friday. 

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