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Police Reports 5-3-23: sex offender caught living near school

A sex offender was found to be residing within 800 feet from a local elementary school.

On April 25, Tahlequah Police Officer Zach Adams was dispatched to Cherokee Inn on East Downing Street due to a sex offender who failed to register in Cherokee County and Tahlequah. An employee of the motel told the officer that Elza Dale Self was in one of the rooms and he had been staying there since November 2022. Adams went to the room Self was staying in and found him inside. Det. Josh Girdner and Cherokee County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ryan Robison said Self never got in contact with them since residing at the local motel. Self was arrested and booked for failing to register as a sex offender and residing within 2,000 feet from a school.

Officer Bruce Gower responded to the University Park Nursing Center April 13 to speak with a woman who had been involved in a domestic incident. The woman told officers that Benjamin Covey grabbed her by the neck and threw her on the ground. Gower said the woman had visible injures from the incident. A witness said the woman and Covey were arguing about another woman before Covey got physical with the victim. Gower went to a residence to make contact with Covey, but the man refused to open the door and claimed he didn’t do anything wrong. Gower was patrolling the area of West Berry Street the next day when he spotted Covey standing near the road. Covey denied that anything physical happened between him and the woman. Lt. Matt Frits arrived so he and Gower could arrest the man without incident. However, Covey tried to flee and a struggle ensued. Covey was taken to the ground and was arrested. He was transported to jail where he was booked for domestic assault and battery and resisting an officer.

On April 25, Officer Jess McClure was called to Family Dollar on East Downing Street for a report of a suspicious woman inside the store. McClure met with Amelia Crittenden, who kept falling asleep as the two were speaking with one another. Crittenden was arrested for public intoxication and transported to jail. Officers found several items inside a purse that Crittenden said belonged to her. Employees with Family Dollar said some of the items came from the store but they wouldn’t press charges. She was booked on tribal charges for public intoxication.


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