Witness recalls search for armed man in Hays Nature Preserve

Huntsville police searched for hours for a man named Chevey Swinford in Hays Nature Preserve.

Posted: Apr 4, 2019 6:33 PM

Chevey Swinford is behind bars now, after police say he got in a fight with his ex-girlfriend and drove into the Hays Nature Preserve with guns. Police spent hours looking for Swinford at the preserve.

WAAY 31 talked to a witness who said he was there last night when a woman came up to his window, and she was frantic.

Chevey Swinford

"I never felt any danger, because he didn't have any reason to kill me," said a witness who did not want to reveal his name or face.

The witness said he was driving through Hays Nature Preserve Wednesday night and passed by two cars.

"We passed a yellow Mustang, and a silver car parked on the side of the road. I didn't think much about it," said the witness.

He said that Mustang contained Chevey Swinford and a woman. He said Swinford got into a dispute with his ex-girlfriend earlier and Swinford stormed off into the preserve. That's when the silver car approached him.

Witness: "What's the matter?"
Girl: "Do you have a phone?"
Witness: "What's going on?"
Girl: "Will you please call 9-1-1 real quick, please?"
Witness: "Yeah, what's the matter?'
Girl: "He has a gun and I think he is about to kill himself back here!"

The girls told him Swinford had more than one gun.

Witness: "What kind of gun is it?"
Girl: "He has two, a shotgun and a pistol. I don't know."

That's when the witness called 9-1-1

Witness: "I'm here at the Hays Preserve and two girls have just stopped me on the way out and said there is a man back here who has a gun, and they think he is going to kill himself. He is in a yellow mustang."
Girl: "He is trying to kill us."

Huntsville police searched for Swinford for hours, but stopped overnight. A city worker found him shortly after the search resumed Thursday morning.

Police say Swinford is charged with domestic violence (menacing). The witness said he's just glad everyone is still alive.

"To me, that's the biggest issue about all of this, is that someone would be in such a bad place that they would do something like that," said the witness.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office told WAAY 31 Swinford has previous charges and is on probation. Once Swinford is done with Huntsville police, he will be taken over to Jackson County.

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