Local law enforcement needs the community's help to find a man who has threatened to shoot officers or commit suicide by cop, Casper Police Detective John Hatcher said on Monday.

Joshua Coats, 29, is a white male, six-feet, eight-inches tall, and weighs 275 pounds, Hatcher said.

He has an arrest warrant for distribution of methamphetamine.

"He knows he has a warrant for him, so he's been trying to avoid us, hide different places," Hatcher said.

Coats has made numerous statements that he does not want to go back to prison, Hatcher said. "And if he is contacted by law enforcement, he will do everything in his ability including shooting out with the police, suicide by cop, or anything like that to keep from going back to prison."

He has said if law enforcement confronts him he has threatened to shoot it out with law enforcement or commit suicide by cop.

Law enforcement does not know that for sure, but people have given police that information, Hatcher said.

He's heard of similar threats from wanted persons before, but usually there's no problem when they're taken into custody, he said. "But when someone threatens like and they say they could be armed, we take all precautions with someone like that and make sure safety for everyone and law enforcement."

He may be in the Casper or elsewhere in Natrona County. He also may be in Shoshoni or Riverton in Fremont County. Hatcher said he did not know what kind of ties he may have in Fremont County.

Hatcher did not know if there was any specific area in Casper where Coats may be, he said.

If someone knows Coats is wanted and has him stay at their place, law enforcement may consider them as harboring a fugitive, he added.

If you have information on his location, Hatcher asks you to please contact the Casper Police Department at the non-emergency number at 235-8278.

If you see Coats, DO NOT approach him, because he might be armed.

Instead, call 911 immediately.

Informants will remain anonymous, Hatcher said.