Manhunt ensues in Paden after wanted felon spotted
By Ken Childers
A manhunt for a recently released inmate with an active warrant out of Lincoln County ensued last Wednesday afternoon in Paden and stretched into the next morning after authorities received reports he was spotted in the area.
At press time, the search was still on for 35-year-old Roy Palagonia of Sparks, who was released from prison only three months ago and is still on probation. Palagonia was reportedly the subject of a recent pursuit in Lincoln County that began after he allegedly pointed a gun at a deputy sheriff. Lincoln County authorities said they could “neither confirm or deny” those reports.
Okfuskee County Sheriff Jim Rasmussen said his office was alerted Wednesday, Dec. 18 that Palagonia had been spotted at mobile home in Paden. The sighting was initially reported to Lincoln County authorities, who in turn notified Rasmussen.
According to Rasmussen, crews searched for Palagonia from about 3 p.m. – 10:30 p.m., but were unable to locate him. A short time later, authorities received a tip that he was back in the area, and officers returned to the scene. Rasmussen said he requested assistance from Lincoln County and the Creek Nation K9 unit to establish a perimeter around a wooded area, which remained in place until about 1:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 19.
Rasmussen said there were no reports of violence while Palagonia was in Paden. “Nobody was hurt by the suspect. He was just out knocking on doors in the area, possibly looking for an old friend of his,” Rasmussen said. Palagonia was overheard saying, “I’m not going back to prison,” according to Rasmussen.
Some time around 3 a.m., authorities received word that a pickup, which reportedly had a handgun inside, was stolen from a Paden resident. The vehicle was spotted a short time later at the Seminole Nation Casino located at Highway 377 and I-40.
Rasmussen said when Seminole Nation officers approached the vehicle, a male passenger, who was not a known associate of Palagonia, bailed out but was apprehended. Palagonia sped away in the truck, leading officers on a pursuit into Pottawatomie County, but he managed to elude police.
A warrant for Palagonia’s arrest was issued out of Lincoln County on Thursday, Dec. 19. Anyone with knowledge of his whereabouts should contact local authorities or call 911.
According to court records, Palagonia has a lengthy rap sheet. Past charges include burglary in the second degree after former conviction of two or more felonies, knowingly concealing stolen property, eluding/attempting to elude police officers, joy riding and several drug-related charges. Palagonia has also had multiple protective orders issued against him between 2004 and 2015.