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Suspect wanted for first-degree rape arrested in Pottawatomie County after years on the run

By Jason Burger Reporter

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    POTTAWATOMIE COUNTY, Oklahoma (KOCO) — A suspect wanted for first-degree rape was arrested in Pottawatomie County after two and a half years on the run.

The Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office said William McFarland Jr. eluded law enforcement since 2021 and deputies found him on Tuesday night. They arrested him in Shawnee after a pursuit, but that wasn’t the only pursuit he’s been in recently.

“We’ve had a pursuit previously with him where we didn’t get him in custody. And then Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office also had a pursuit where he was the suspect,” said Undersheriff Travis Dinwiddie with PCSO.

In January, McFarland was able to escape law enforcement after two different vehicle pursuits before a third chase on Tuesday night. The sheriff’s office said they found him after a simple phone call, which led them to a neighborhood where the caller saw him.

He was already facing charges of first-degree rape.

“We followed up on a tip, and it led to another pursuit—and the end result was we got him in custody,” Dinwiddie said.

McFarland was involved in a much longer chase earlier this month that started in Shawnee and ended in Midwest City. KOCO 5 was told Tuesday’s pursuit started in Shawnee and at a home close to where he was followed by deputies, they found McFarland’s son.

“He did take the kid and had not returned the child. So that’s another reason we were looking for him, so we could get the child back to the mother,” Dinwiddie said.

It was McFarland’s biological son, but he was hiding out with the child. McFarland has been wanted since 2021 when two different women reported they had been raped by him in the Macomb area.

According to a probable cause affidavit, they both alleged they were drugged and raped.

“Both charges were back around the same time, and it was late ’21 or early ’22 when the warrant was issued,” Dinwiddie said.

After the sheriff’s office posted about McFarland, they finally found him.

“He was bouncing around all over the place, and that’s what made it so hard to get him tracked down,” Dinwiddie said.

The child involved was not injured at all and is back with his mother.

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