UPDATE

Former freeway shooting suspect out of jail

Posted: Updated:
Our photographer was there when Merritt left the jail early Thursday morning. (Source: Rudy Norte, KPHO/KTVK) Our photographer was there when Merritt left the jail early Thursday morning. (Source: Rudy Norte, KPHO/KTVK)
Booking photo of Leslie Merritt Jr. after he was arrested on Oct. 26 for allegedly violating domestic violence order of protection (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Booking photo of Leslie Merritt Jr. after he was arrested on Oct. 26 for allegedly violating domestic violence order of protection (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Booking photo of Leslie Merritt Jr. after he was arrested on Oct. 26 for allegedly violating domestic violence order of protection (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Booking photo of Leslie Merritt Jr. after he was arrested on Oct. 26 for allegedly violating domestic violence order of protection (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Leslie Merritt Jr. after his release from jail in April (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Leslie Merritt Jr. after his release from jail in April (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Former freeway shooting suspect Leslie Merritt Jr. is out of jail after being arrested for allegedly violating a domestic violence order of protection, according to Glendale police.

Our photographer was there when Merritt was released early Friday morning.

In an email, Sgt. Scott Waite with the Glendale Police Department said Merritt was arrested on Wednesday night.

The alleged violation took place at a residence near 67th and Maryland avenues.

The responding officers found that Merritt had allegedly been on a property and made threats to the victim, both of which violated an order of protection.

Police contacted Merritt in the area and arrested him.

Other details of the protection order were not immediately disclosed by police, who said Merritt was jailed on two misdemeanors.

At the time of his arrest in the freeway shootings case, Merritt had a fiance and two children.

Calls to Merritt's attorneys for comment on his latest arrest weren't immediately returned Thursday afternoon.

[Special section: Phoenix freeway shootings]

Merritt was arrested in September 2015 after authorities said ballistic tests tied him to four of the 11 shootings that occurred on Phoenix area freeways last summer. The string of shootings rattled the Phoenix area.

The shootings caused panic on Phoenix-area freeways, where 11 vehicles were hit in August and September. The head of the Department of Public Safety said the shootings were the work of a domestic terrorist, and authorities heightened patrols and surveillance in pursuit of a suspect.

Detectives took Merritt into custody on Sept. 18, prompting Gov. Doug Ducey to declare "We got him!" on Twitter five minutes after the arrest.

His lawyers immediately began raising questions about the evidence, citing ballistics information and phone records they say provided an alibi for their client.

They also pointed to road rage shootings that happened on Phoenix-area freeways after Merritt was arrested, saying the cases were proof that the culprit was still out there.

In April, a judge allowed Merritt to be released from jail amid questions about evidence authorities say links him to the crimes.

Lawyers for the 22-year-old landscaper filed a lawsuit last month, claiming Arizona authorities rushed to judgment and failed to provide evidence that he was present at any of the shootings.

The lawsuit alleges false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and aiding and abetting tortious conduct.

Merritt's lawsuit did not specify the amount of money he is seeking. His attorneys previously said he was seeking $10 million from the state, Maricopa County and the office of County Attorney Bill Montgomery.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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