Barton County Sheriff’s Office asking for public’s help with escapee


John Paul Zapata. Image courtesy of Barton County Sheriff’s Office

BARTON COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – The Barton County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday they are seeking the public’s assistance with locating John Paul Zapata, 34. Zapata has a history of resisting arrest and has been known to have firearms in his possession.

Barton County Sheriff’s Office said on March 4, 2020, and again on April 8, 2020, they executed search warrants for Zapata at 260 N. Washington just north of Great Bend. During the April 8 incident, the sheriff’s office was forced to use teargas to dislodge a subject from the home. The search warrants resulted in the arrest of Zapata. He was being held in the Barton County Jail awaiting trial.

Zapata entered into a plea agreement with the court sentencing him to the Department of Corrections. Part of that plea agreement ordered the sheriff’s office to release Zapata on furlough “for the express purpose to get his affairs in order before being sentenced to Kansas Department of Corrections.” The sheriff’s office said they did not have input on the plea agreement.

Zapata was released on Monday morning as ordered by the court. The order stated Zapata was to return on June 24 at 10 a.m. But since he has failed to do so, he is now wanted for aggravated escape from custody.

Zapata has brown eyes, short black hair with partial beard, scars on left hip, and several neck and abdomen tattoos.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call 911 or Crime Stoppers at 620-792-1300.

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