A barricade situation at a Huntington-area motel ended late Saturday afternoon after police determined the man they were looking for had managed to flee the scene after escaping through the ceiling of his room.
Alton Thodos, 32, is believed to have climbed into an attic space in the Virginia Lodge, which is located at 6027 Richmond Highway (see map), before coming back down in another part of the motel and leaving. Police says a perimeter had not yet been set up around the whole property at the time of his escape. It’s unclear which part of the motel, which has multiple buildings and is bordered by a large wooded area in the rear, Thodos fled from.
Officers had originally shown up at the motel shortly after 1 p.m. to arrest Thodos for active warrants on charges of grand larceny, credit card theft, credit card fraud and a probation violation. Thodos, who had a woman with him in the room, threatened to harm himself if police entered, triggering the standoff.
Eventually, police said, the woman with Thodos ran out of the room. Officers then entered the room, at which time police realized he had climbed into the ceiling, according to a police press release. Tear gas was used to try to force Thodos from the space, but police believe he was actually gone at that point, the release said.
A while later, police were able to obtain surveillance footage that showed Thodos escaping earlier in the standoff. Officers began shutting down operations at the scene around 5:40 p.m., a police spokeswoman said.
Online records show a warrant for violating probation was issued in March 2018
Thodos is not believed to be armed, according to the spokeswoman. He’s described as being around 6 foot 1 inches tall and 175 pounds. He may be driving a silver 2013 BMW X1 with Virginia tags UZE-8869, according to police.
Anyone with information on Thodos’s whereabouts is asked to call the non-emergency line at 703-691-2131. Tips can be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by visiting their website or calling 1-866-411-TIPS.