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Pa. standoff ends peacefully

December 19, 2006|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A domestic dispute Monday morning escalated into a standoff with Pennsylvania State Police on Social Island Circle that ended about six hours later when the man surrendered and was taken into custody on a mental health warrant.

"The subject did harm to himself and then barricaded himself in the house," Trooper David Rush said. The 37-year-old man, who had cut his wrists about the time the incident began, came out of the house and surrendered to police shortly after 4 p.m., Rush said.

"No criminal acts were committed," Rush said. The name of the man, who was taken to Chambersburg Hospital for treatment and a mental health evaluation, was not being released, Rush said.

The incident began shortly after 10 a.m. when the man got into a domestic dispute with his 34-year-old wife at the house in the 3500 block of Social Island Circle, Trooper Jeffrey Bopp said. The woman got out of the house and notified police, he said.

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When police arrived, the man refused to come out and police set up a perimeter, evacuating a few houses in the area, Bopp said. The state police called in its Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) and began negotiations to convince the man to come outside.

Bopp and Rush said there were five SERT negotiators called and about 15 to 18 tactical members of the team.

Information was passed along to police that the man had said he had weapons in the house and was "going to start shooting" if police tried to enter, Rush said. No weapons were found after the man came out of the house, he said.

"It's our protocol in situations like this just to be safe," Bopp said of the decision to call in the SERT team.

Social Island Circle is off Social Island Road, which was closed between Warm Spring Road and U.S. 11 until about 4:30 p.m. Fire police would not allow residential traffic or other nonemergency vehicles down the road until the incident ended.

A caravan of marked and unmarked police cruisers and an unmarked box truck drove away from the scene after the standoff ended.

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