Armed standoff with Springfield police ends

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) -A police standoff with a 26-year old man that had barricaded himself inside a house for several hours ended with him being taken to the hospital for psychiatric evaluation early Thursday morning.

No charges have been filed against the man.

Springfield Police surrounded a house at 88 Aspen Road around 7 p.m. Wednesday, after getting a 911 call from the father of the man that had barricaded himself inside. The father said his son was out of control, according to Springfield Police Sgt. John Delaney.

When police arrived and entered the house, the man allegedly attacked the officers with a machete and a long scythe.  He was also armed with a knife, Commissioner William Fitchet said.

No one was hurt. Officers were able to block the attacks using a body bunker, and tried to subdue him using pepper spray, but he barricaded himself in the basement, Fitchet said.

Sgt. Delaney said negotiators were trying to talk with the man. Commissioner William Fitchet and Deputy Chief John Barbieri were at the house and a Tactical Response Unit was called in to help with the situation.

Police told 22News earlier that the man might have psychiatric issues, and that there are no reports of any hostages.

Sgt. Delaney added that the man might have been under the influence of alcohol.

Police secured the area and Captain Robert Cheetham negotiated with the 26-year-old, Commissioner William Fitchet said.

Commissioner Fitchet said when negotiations broke down, officers decided to use pepper spray, or OC spray (Oleoresin capsicum). It makes you cough, tear up, and uncomfortable.

It’s the same pepper spray the officers carry on their belts, but neighbors heard two loud bangs because the chemical was shot out of a gun using ferret rounds or canisters.  They also used a hose to deliver the chemical underneath a door the man had barrricade himself behind, Fitchet said.

Once the chemical was released , the man thrashed around and pulled away the mattresses and furniture that he had barricaded the door with, Fitchet said.

When he opened the door he was still armed with a knife and a hatchet that police did not know he had, Fitchet said.  He dropped the weapons before he came out the door and didn’t strike at the officers.

The officers put him down and handcuffed him with a slight struggle, Fitchet said.

Commissioner Fitchet said there were no significant injuries to the 26-year-old, and no officers were injured.

The man was taken by ambulance to the psychiatric unit at Baystate Medical Center, and officers accompanied the EMT’s.

He was given oxygen for the chemicals he may have ingested and was also washed down, Fitchet said.

Commissioner Fitchet did not go into details about what started the police response, but said it was not a family argument.

Commissioner Fitchet went on to say no charges have been filed on the 26-year-old because it was decided “..he needed treatment more than he needed the criminal justice system.”

The family has been cooperative with police and it will be further discussed with them, Fitchet said.

Commissioner Fitchet and Deputy Chief John Barbieri praised the professionalism and the patience of the officers and the negotiators .


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