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Hagerstown man involved in standoff wanted to 'commit suicide by cop'

May 21, 2012|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com
  • Neil LaPine is led to a police cruiser by Hagerstown City Police Sgt. John Lehman after he barricaded himself inside a Little Hayden Circle home on Friday.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — A Hagerstown man involved in a standoff with police Friday told negotiators he was going to “commit suicide by cop,” according to the application for statement of charges filed by Hagerstown police.

Neil Shawn LaPine, 49, of 12962 Little Hayden Circle, appeared in Washington County District Court by closed- circuit television from the county detention center Monday for a bond review. Judge Mark D. Thomas kept LaPine’s bail at $750,000.

LaPine was taken into custody shortly after 3 p.m. Friday after an incident that began about three hours earlier. He was charged with four counts each of first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment, one count of use of handgun in a crime of violence and two counts of discharging a firearm in city limits, court records show.

Police went to the home in the Cortland Manor development after a relative of LaPine reported he was making suicidal threats, the charging document said. LaPine had been texting family members saying “goodbye” and asking that his mother be taken care of, the document said.

LaPine refused to answer the door when police arrived and the county’s Special Response Team was called in to set up a perimeter around the town house, the charging document said. Negotiators made telephone contact with LaPine and he repeatedly said he was going to “commit suicide by cop,” meaning he wanted to provoke police into killing him, the document said.

At one point in the negotiations, LaPine walked out the front door and police fired what they called a nonlethal hard foam pellet at his chest, but he was able to make his way back into the house.

Four officers — Detective Sgts. John Lehman and Jim Hurd, Detective Jason Dietz and Agent Todd Dunkle — were lined up ready to take LaPine into custody and were moving forward when he was hit with the nonlethal projectile, the charging document said.

Police did not know whether LaPine was armed when he came out of the house, Detective Tammy Jurado said Monday.

Immediately after LaPine closed the door, the officers “heard a large-caliber gunshot” from inside the residence, the charging document said.

“LaPine fired a shot towards the door, knowing the four officers ... were within a few yards, just on the other side of the door and could have been struck by a round,” the charging document said.

The bullet went through the glass window on the front door, Jurado said.

The second count of discharging a firearm within city limits had to do with a shot LaPine allegedly fired inside the house near the beginning of the standoff, she said.

Negotiators later got LaPine back on the telephone and he told them he was “done playing” and had a .308-caliber rifle and an AR-15 rifle, the charging document said. Family members confirmed he had rifles in the house, the document said.

Negotiators eventually talked LaPine into coming out and surrendering, Jurado said.

LaPine is scheduled for a preliminary hearing June 6, court records show.

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