• Daily Leader staff report
Police refused this morning to officially identify a man arrested late Saturday night for eavesdropping. But a local radio station has identified him as Liberal’s Ray Petty.
According to a statement released at 8:46 this morning by Liberal Police Capt. Pat McClurg, “On Sept. 4 at about 11 p.m., officers were called to the 600 block of North Clay Avenue for a report of a prowler in the area. A 36-year-old male reported another man was in his back yard.
“Responding officers located a suspect leaving the vicinity of the call,” McClurg continued. “The suspect was apprehended after a short foot pursuit through yards in the immediate area. He was arrested without incident.
“Officers arrested a 45-year-old male of Liberal. He was booked into Seward County Jail on suspicion of eavesdropping and obstructing legal process,” the release concluded.
Though LPD has not officially identified the alleged prowler to the media (either on its Web site or through e-mail notices), KSCB Radio has posted a copywritten story claiming:
“Former Liberal Police officer, Seward County Sheriff’s officer and current Head of Security at Seward County Community/Area Technical School, Ray Petty, was arrested for eavesdropping and obstruction of the legal process.”
A photograph of Petty accompanies the posted story.
KSCB also aired the story on its 6:30 a.m. News, Live and Local segment.
Liberal Police Chief Al Sill said this morning he could not yet release the identity of the alleged suspect. Sill said several times he didn’t know how KSCB could have got that information, but he also could not confirm or deny its accuracy. He referred further inquiries to Liberal City Attorney Shirla McQueen, who was “unavailable” when an attempt to call her failed. McQueen did call back around 10:15 but could not confirm or deny the identity of the suspect.
The Daily Leader has been unable to verify KSCB’s claims as of press time this morning.