Standoff Suspect on the Loose

Police in Valdosta are still searching for a man they thought they had cornered Thursday night. The man is accused of beating a woman with a gun. Authorities thought they had him trapped in an apartment, but it turns out he had fled hours earlier.

More than 30 Valdosta police cars lined the area around the Hudson Docket housing complex late Thursday night as officers thought they had a standoff with Antonio Conaway.

Police say the incident started with a domestic abuse complaint early Thursday night.

Brian Childress, Valdosta police spokesman, says, "Valdosta police responded to South Georgia Medical Center, the emergency room, for an assault. When we got there we discovered a female had been assaulted with a handgun. Specifically, she had been struck in the head on two different occasions."

The victim and other eyewitnesses said the alleged assaulter, Antonio Conaway, could be found at the apartment complex.

Police contacted Conaway by phone and determined he was inside. After what appeared to be a very long standoff, police finally forced their way inside.

Childress adds, "We did not locate Mr. Conaway inside the apartment. What we think happened is when the initial officers arrived on scene and contacted him, he escaped through a back window."

Conaway had been on the run for hours and authorities don't know where he might have gone.

Childress says, "I'm asking anybody now, who has any information on the location of Mr. Conaway, to contact the Valdosta police. We do consider him armed and dangerous."

Conaway had just been released after a 10-year stint in prison, and police suspect he was afraid of more jail time if arrested and convicted on the abuse charges.