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Kenton Deputy's Allergies Put Him in Right Place to Capture Wanted Man

On Mat 7, Pat Morgan stayed home from work because he had been suffering from severe allergies as the spring season set in.

Morgan is a colonel and chief deputy with the Kenton County Sheriff's Office and the day he needed to take off due to illness happened to be a very busy one for local law enforcement. Marquez Moore, 23, had been stopped by a Kenton County Police cruiser on Madison Pike near the Covington-Erlanger line. Moore disobeyed the officer's order to remain in his vehicle and a foot chase ensued. Moore allegedly assaulted the officer and escaped into the nearby woods.

A manhunt in that area of the county followed for nearly eight hours.

Moore had been spotted around Doe Run Lake but officers lost sight of him and at one point, even thought he may have hopped a TANK bus in Ft. Wright and headed to Covington. That wasn't the case. Moore had made his way to an Erlanger neighborhood, the very neighborhood where Morgan lives.

"The back of the neighborhood abuts Doe Run Lake over the hill," Morgan told The River City News. After a full work day on the run, Moore emerged from the woods tired and started to walk between some of the homes in the Lakemont subdivision. Calls started to come into police dispatch and then to Morgan. "That evening, I didn't go to my boy's baseball game because I couldn't breathe outside it was so bad. My neighbor started calling me and said the guy came out of the wooded area and started walking through backyards in an open field area."

More neighbors started to call.

"They call me and said he was standing out in the middle of Robby Court and that he matched the description," said Morgan, 51, The 34-year veteran of law enforcement walked out of his house with his gun and his badge and got inside his unmarked SUV. He noticed that a neighbor's garage was open and urged her to close it as Moore had been spotted in the area. An email was sent to all the neighbors warning of the suspect's possible presence. 

Eventually, at around 7:15 p.m., Morgan spotted Moore standing near the street. "I said, hey, I need to talk to you, and he said, what do you need?," Morgan said. According to Morgan, Moore said his name was Marcus Hayes but Moore knew that wasn't true because he was familiar with the Hayes family in Covington. The deputy rattled off names asking whose son "Marcus" may have been. "He said they were his uncles."

Moore did not have any identification on him, he told Morgan.

Finally, after a rapport was developed between the two, Moore dropped the Hayes persona and confessed to being the man all the officers had been looking for. Morgan knew the suspect's actual family, too. "He said, I'm tired of running. He was just tired of running. He'd been in the woods and he didn't know what time it was and he said, I'm done. I'm tired, I'm hungry. He was maced (by another officer) and he was just wore out," Morgan said. Erlanger Police responded and made the arrest.

The deputy would not have been home under normal circumstances as he does not miss his son's baseball games but due to the severity of this particular bout with allergies, here he was. "It's one of those lucky things. He could have outrun me because I was barefoot," Morgan said. "Erlanger had units coming and I just started a rapport with him by knowing his mom and his family members. He was just done. If he had taken off running I never would have caught the kid because I'm 51 and he's a runner, they said, and if I'd gotten back in those woods I would have been horribly suffering because I was coughing so bad at home."

Morgan has since gotten an allergy shot and is feeling better. He also feels good about the way the run-in went down with Moore, who remains jailed on $100,000 bond where he is charged with assaulting an officer, fleeing and evading police, resisting arrest, and giving an officer a false name.

"I learned through my years that the approach and a little bit of rapport, the approach by everyone - it was handled well," Morgan said. "It was a very calm kind of incident."

Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher

Photo: Marquez Moore (via Kenton Co. Detention Center)