DATE: Thursday, August 3rd
SUBJECT: Stand-off Ends Safely: Wanted Subject Apprehended by VCSO and EPD
CONTACT: Sheriff Noah Robinson
AUTHORITY: Sheriff Noah Robinson

Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Deputies and Evansville Police Officers take a wanted subject into custody after a short stand-off.

On August 2nd, 2023 at 9:24 pm, Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Deputies received information that John Lee Martinez was at a residence in the 1600-BLK of N Sixth Av. Mr. Martinez was wanted for questioning in regards to a fraud investigation, however, Deputies also determined that Mr. Martinez had an active felony warrant for his arrest stemming from charges in Warrick County. Deputies began surveilling the residence when they witnessed Mr. Martinez walk into the apartment. Deputies set up a perimeter on the residence and attempted to make contact with Mr. Martinez, however, he refused to comply and began barricading the door. Deputies determined that Mr. Martinez was alone inside the apartment and then requested the Evansville Police Department’s assistance. Neighboring residents were evacuated for safety.

Crisis negotiators from both the VCSO and EPD responded to the scene and established communication with Mr. Martinez. Mr. Martinez refused to follow commands to exit the residence and surrender. During negotiations, Mr. Martinez showed Deputies a gas can through the window and threatened to “blow” up the residence if we didn’t leave. Deputies then applied for and were granted a search warrant for the property. After negotiations failed to make any progress, entry was made into the residence. At 11:58pm, Mr. Martinez was successfully taken into custody. Deputies located three (3) small areas in the residence where he had attempted to start a fire.

Mr. Martinez was taken to Deaconess Hospital for precautions before being transported to the Vanderburgh County Jail on numerous charges.


John Lee Martinez, 53, of Boonville, IN

Felony Warrant (Failure to Register as a Sex or Violent Offender), Arson-Attempted as a Level 4 Felony, Possession of Methamphetamine as a Level 6 Felony, Possession of Paraphernalia as a Class C Misdemeanor, Resisting Law Enforcement as a Class A Misdemeanor, Fraud as a Class A Misdemeanor

Presumption of Innocence Notice: The fact that a person has been arrested or charged with a crime is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.