Charges filed for Ripley man who had gone missing

In late August, a Ripley man, Morgan Dakota Barnum, had been reported missing by his sister. His sister had asked for the public’s help in finding him, and had said he could have been camping in the woods around Ripley.

She said he was fascinated by the outdoors and considered himself to be a “GI Joe” who could live off the land. She also said he had developmental disabilities.

He was located a few days after being reported missing, and led officers on a pursuit that ended wth Barnum crashing an ATV into a creek, with him being transported to hospital in Tulsa in stable condition. He had moved to Oklahoma from Oregon in April after his sister became his legal guardian.

On Friday, Barnum was charged in Payne County District Court with larceny of a motor vehicle, petit larceny and attempting to elude, according to court records.

A written affidavit states that on Aug. 30, Payne County Sheriff’s deputies were looking for Barnum in the area of Rowdy Road and Bethel Road in Ripley. Deputies had received information that Barnum had a pistol and was making threats to harm himself or law enforcement if confronted. They also learned he may have been staying at a residence south of the location and that he was using an ATV to get around. The affidavit states that Barnum was also listed as a wanted person through the state of Oregon with full extradition.

The officer writes that at 9:42 a.m. on Aug. 30, a deputy saw an ATV northbound on Bethel Road and it had begun to slow as if the driver was turning onto Rowdy Road. Officers started following the ATV, when the driver started going northbound. Based on descriptions and the location, deputies believed it was Barnum. The affidavit states that once units were in pursuit with police lights activated, deputies saw Barnum look back at the vehicle a few times but did not stop.

The affidavit states that Barnum then led deputies on a chase that lasted for more than 12 miles. Barnum did not yield through several intersections, and in the area of Glencoe Road and Bethel Road, the log splitter being towed by the ATV came loose, causing deputies to swerve into a ditch to avoid hitting it. The deputy writes that Barnum also threw several small items in the path of the pursuing sheriff’s deputies.

Barnum then crashed into Camp Creek at the Pawnee/Payne County line, and was taken to a hospital by ambulance. Deputies located a black revolver in Barnum’s possession, which after further investigation was found to be the property of another person. The man whose pistol it was had usually kept it in a locked cabinet that Barnum was not allowed to access. The man positively identified the pistol as his, and said Barnum was not allowed to possess it.

The affidavit states that deputies spoke with a man who lived in the same neighborhood as Barnum, and described the residence where the ATV may have been taken from. After looking at the property, deputies found fresh ATV tracks in the driveway leading to the road. After speaking with the owner of the property, the man told deputies that nobody was allowed at the property and he didn’t know Barnum. The man was able to describe the ATV and log splitter that Barnum was driving.

On Aug. 30, Barnum went to a residence in the area, where the man noticed he was driving an ATV. Barnum gave the man 19 silver pieces and a green magazine holster containing eight 7.62 MM magazines. The man believed the items belonged to another sister of Barnum’s and returned the items to her. Deputies later spoke with the woman and she gave them the items on Sept. 6. The man who claimed ownership of the ATV also confirmed the coins, magazines and holster were at the same residence as the ATV.

A warrant was issued on Friday for Barnum. According to court records, larceny of a motor vehicle, a felony, is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to three times the value of the vehicle. Petit larceny, a misdemeanor, is punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine from $10 to $500. Attempting to elude, a misdemeanor, is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine from $100 to $2,000.

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