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City police defuse standoff with man

April 22, 2000|By DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

A 40-minute police standoff with a man threatening to ignite a gas-filled apartment on Noland Drive ended peacefully early Saturday.

An unknown number of people were evacuated from nearby apartments while police and firefighters worked to defuse the situation.

The standoff ended after a police officer talked the man into surrendering.

Hagerstown police were called to 1013D Noland Drive at about 3 a.m. Saturday by a woman who said her estranged boyfriend was refusing to leave her apartment.

Upon arriving, police found the woman, who was not identified, outside with her children. The woman said her estranged boyfriend was inside the apartment with the natural gas turned on and threatening to ignite the residence.

The police officers could smell the gas from outside.

The Fire Department was called, and police officers began evacuating nearby residences.

Firefighters turned off the gas to the apartment.

Police Officer Marty Pitsnogle contacted the 39-year-old man in the apartment by telephone and convinced him to open some windows, then to give himself up, police said.

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The man came out of the apartment at about 3:40 a.m. He was taken into custody and transported to Washington County Hospital for evaluation. He was still hospitalized Saturday, police said.

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