• Delaware convicted child rapist arrested after 6-hour standoff in Merritt Island


    MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. - A fugitive accused in a multi-state crime spree, who had been serving time for raping a child, was arrested after a six-hour standoff in Brevard County Tuesday night.

    Deputies said the man escaped from a Delaware prison work program in December, and then pulled off two armed robberies before fleeing to Florida.

    A mobile home park on Merritt Island was evacuated during the standoff with Kenneth Wood Jr., 40, of Milford, Del., according to the Brevard County Sheriff's Office.

    Deputies said Wood was in the home of a family member.

    Investigators said Wood was being held on sexual battery charges, and failed to return after being on an authorized pass from the Sussex Community Corrections Center in Georgetown, Del.

    Wood is suspected of committing two armed robberies in Alabama and a robbery in Taylor County, where he is also accused of stealing a car, according to deputies.

    "Two armed robberies in Alabama and a subsequent armed robbery in Taylor County, Florida. They actually pursued him. When they were trying to pursue him he was able to get away," said Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey.

    Investigators said that papers left behind in Taylor County led them to believe he would be coming to Merritt Island.

    Authorities said The Game Over Task Force, which is made up of a number of law enforcement agencies, was alerted to Wood's plans. When they located the stolen car in the mobile home park, they began evacuations and set up a perimeter to keep him at bay, investigators said.

    According to investigators, Wood tried to escape through the floor of the home during the standoff.

    "Apparently he was able to, through some measure, able to get out through the floor of the trailer. As soon as he did we made our presence known and he decided it was probably in his best interest to go back into the trailer," said Ivey.

    Investigators said that Wood asked to talk to a family member, and a short time later he surrendered.

    Residents began returning to their homes around 9 p.m.

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