John B. Penick

The Franklin County SWAT team was called to assist St. Clair police Thursday while serving a warrant to arrest a noncompliant sex offender.

St. Clair police went to the home of John B. Penick, 34, around 9 a.m. for a report that he had an active warrant for his arrest for failing to register as a sex offender. Penick was residing at 1339 Orchard Drive, according to Police Chief Bill Hammack.

When Hammack and a detective arrived at the home, they saw a man matching the description of Penick running into the residence. Penick refused to answer the door for officers, according to Hammack.

St. Clair police obtained a search warrant and a threat assessment was conducted of Penick, which revealed his lengthy criminal history, including several resisting arrest charges, felony assault charges, drug violations and domestic assault.

Due to two large dogs inside the home that previously had been aggressive toward people in the neighborhood, the Franklin County SWAT was called to assist with the search warrant.

At 1 p.m., the SWAT team located and arrested Penick, who was found hiding inside a box spring mattress. The mattress was in the bedroom where the two dogs were found, according to Hammack.

Additional charges, including resisting arrest and residing within 500 feet of a municipal park, are being sought on Penick, Hammack said.

In 2003, Penick was charged in Franklin County Circuit Court with first-degree endangering the welfare of a child. The victim was 13 years old. He was ordered to register as a sex offender.

Criminal Record

Penick has a litany of charges against him dating back more than 15 years.

In addition to one felony count of failing to register as a sex offender in Franklin County, he most recently was charged with domestic assault in April, according to court records.

In 2016, Penick was charged in Crawford County with failing to register as a sex offender. In a second incident in 2016, Penick was charged in Crawford County with felony resisting arrest.

He pleaded guilty to both charges and he was sentenced to three years in prison, court records state.

In 2018 he was charged in Franklin County Associate Circuit Court with a misdemeanor for resisting arrest.

In 2003, Penick was charged with felony forgery. He was charged in 2005 with possession of a controlled substance, also a felony.