A quick drive through the Spanish Cove community and Randy Lewis knew something was up. “I seen the armored vehicle SWAT. Oh man, this is big time.”
The focus, a small house that didn’t look like anyone was home. “We got a tip that this guy’s there and he was there,” says Capt. Steve Arthur with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office.
“He”, is Todd Neisler, wanted for trying to kill his wife in Gadsden. “Hit her several times in the head,” says Arthur, “and I understand she was trying to protect herself so, some damage to her hand and her head.”
After the crime, Neisler took off and was eventually spotted in Texas according to Arthur. “He fled there and a high-speed pursuit ensued and it’s my understanding that he was traveling in excess of 150, 160 miles an hour in an attempt to elude them and he did elude them because they were afraid he was going to kill some innocent person.”
Neisler then headed to Lillian and a relatives house. “I come around and I seen a couple of SWAT guys in full gear come from around the house,” says Lewis. “Wow, something’s going on.”
For more than two hours, more than a dozen SWAT officers hid around the house and watched and waited for Neisler to make his move. When he came out, they were ready. “The deputies were able to take him down in the driveway of the residence without incident,” says Arthur. “He didn’t try to fight or run. We kind of overwhelmed him.”
That’s something Lewis didn’t see. “I didn’t want to hang around too long, cause I didn’t know what the guy looked like and I didn’t want to fit his description if you know what I mean.”
Not much happens in this quiet neighborhood. “It was a perfect place for him to hide,” says Arthur. That’s the way folks around here like it.
Investigators recovered a hammer, a bloody shirt and cell phone from Neisler’s car. He is currently in the Baldwin County Jail waiting to be taken back to Etowah County.