Task force arrests two in Phenix City on separate robbery, meth charges

A Smith, Ala., fugitive, wanted on robbery charges, and a Phenix City man accused of manufacturing meth were arrested by authorities Monday.

The suspects were identified as Tyler Ryan Dowling, 18, of Smiths and William Thomas Hightower, 38, of Phenix City.

Wanted on outstanding warrants, Dowling was arrested about 10:18 CST in Phenix City on Lee Road 602. He is charged with one count each of theft of property second degree, burglary first degree, robbery first degree and one count of attempted murder in the Nov. 27 report of a robbery in the 2500 block of lee Road 117 in Opelika. He is being held on $138,000 bond in the Lee County Detention Facility.

In a telephone call to authorities, a victim said he had been robbed by three unknown men inside his residence. The attackers shot at the victim several times before striking him in the head with a pistol. During the robbery, the victim’s wallet was taken along with several swords, a guitar, and a shotgun before the robbers fled.

Dowling was arrested at the home of Hightower, who was charged with one count of unlawful manufacturing of methamphetamine in the first degree after law enforcement officers discovered an active methamphetamine lab inside the home.

Officers taking part in the arrests included the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force, the Phenix City Police Department and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. Bond for Hightower was set at $33,000.