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Standoff ends peacefully

April 30, 2000|By SCOTT BUTKI

A stand-off of more than two hours ended peacefully at 5:25 p.m. Saturday after a man left his Hagerstown home voluntarily, partially enticed by a pack of cigarettes, City Police Chief Arthur R. Smith said.

Robert Douglas Frye, 40, was arrested and charged with second degree assault, threatening assault, hindering and resisting arrest, Police Lt. Margaret Kline said.

Police came to the home at 131 East Lee St. at about 2:40 p.m. to investigate a reported assault on the man's wife, police said. A man in the house, contacted by phone, said if police came in, "there would be shooting," Smith said.

Police brought two negotiators and about 10 members of the Washington County Special Response Team to the area.

The block of Lee Street was cordoned off with police tape, but some residents came and went throughout the standoff. None of the residents appeared to ever be in danger, Smith said.

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Frye came out after he was told that if he did so immediately, there would probably be no additional charges filed against him beyond a second degree assault, Smith said.

Additional charges were later filed, Kline said.

Frye was also promised a requested pack of cigarettes - which he was later given - on the condition that he exit the home, Smith said.

Police never came close to using force to end the standoff, Smith said. There was no indication that a shotgun found in the home was ever pointed at police, Smith said.

Throughout the standoff, some residents watched from a block away while others hid inside their homes, at the request of the police.

Brenda Black said she watched the standoff from a peephole in the door of her home at 127 E. Lee St., which is two doors down from where the incident took place.

Her cat, Z-Z, kept trying to go out in the street to be with the police, she said.

"He's a people person," she said.

She said she was surprised at the suspect's actions.

"He is a really nice guy," she said.

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