York deputies arrest man wanted in connection with sex trafficking in Williamsburg

Staff writer

York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested a man accused of abducting and forcing two women into prostitution.

Evan Anthony Cole, 29, was taken into custody after a three-hour standoff Thursday afternoon at the Travelodge Inn and Suites in the 100 block of Bypass Road in upper York County, according to York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office spokesman Capt. Dennis Ivey.

York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office deputies and the emergency response team were called to the motel around 2 p.m., according to Ivey.

Two maintenance workers at the motel heard a noise in a vacant room, according to Ivey. They entered the room when Cole put a gun to the head of one of the men and ordered them both to get on the ground.

One of the workers complied with Cole’s demands while the other ran from the room, Ivey said. Cole then went to another vacant room and barricaded himself in.

Police from York, Hampton, James City, Williamsburg and Virginia State Police cordoned off the area surrounding the motel and negotiated with Cole to come out of the hotel.

The York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office used the nearby Cracker Barrel restaurant’s parking lot as its command center and staging area, Ivey said.

Three hours later, at 5:05 p.m., Cole was arrested without incident or injury, Ivey said.

“Sheriff Diggs is so pleased this ended without incident. No law enforcement was injured and the suspect was not injured,” Ivey said. “Everybody’s safe, that’s what’s important.”

Cole was charged with two counts of abduction, two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, two counts of brandishing a firearm and one count of trespassing, Ivey said.

Additionally, warrants from the Williamsburg Police Department for sex trafficking were served when Cole was taken into custody. He was charged with four counts of abduction and kidnapping, two counts of sex trafficking, two counts of robbery, two counts of assault and battery and one count of strangulation.

Cole was initially charged by Williamsburg police after they were called to the 300 block of York Street for a suspicious incident and found two women who said they were abducted and forced into prostitution by Cole, according to Virginia Gazette archives. The two women were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Police said Cole strangled, assaulted and robbed the two women of their personal items.

Roberts can be reached at 757-604-1329, by email at srobertsjr@vagazette.com and on Twitter @SPRobertsJr.

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