Liberty Street standoff ends; suspect being transported by ambulance
PHOTO (9:32 a.m.): Det. Kevin Czora worked into the evening to establish a relationship with the man who had barricaded himself in an apartment on Liberty Street and came back this morning and resumed the conversation. He spent at least 90 minutes talking to the man before the subject slowly came out and Czora then coaxed him around the corner of the house and then walked him down the street, with the assistance of only one other officer, and into a waiting ambulance. The man was clearly fearful of both the other people around and the environment (he looked up at the sky and all around him at least once).
UPDATE 9:21 a.m. (By Billie): City fire units on Liberty Street are clearing the scene; back in service.
BREAKING -- 8:50 a.m., Nov. 19
Howard Owens has just reported that the suspect is out of the house and is being placed into an ambulance by law enforcement and EMT personnel.
Also, Jackson Primary School is in session; school official reports "business as usual."
Prior to the end of the standoff, the school district sent a telephone message to parents informing them of the situation, noting that bus service would be at St. Anthony's for those living on Liberty Street.
Watch for more updates and photos. The Batavian will have exclusive video of the subject being coaxed by Det. Kevin Czora from the house and walked to an ambulance.
Nov. 18, 4:18 p.m.
Batavia City Police Chief Shawn Heubusch reported that the man barricaded inside of a house at 209 Liberty St. has fired several shots at police with a pellet gun and is refusing to come out peacefully.
"Our patrols responded to an address (about two hours ago) on Liberty Street for a domestic disturbance situation," Heubusch said. "Upon arrival, there's this male subject in the upstairs apartment that has barricaded himself in and is refusing to come out. He has a pellet rifle or pellet gun that he is shooting at us, if you will.
"Right now we're working through the process of trying to get him to come out and talk to us."
Heubusch said that the victim of the alleged dispute (the man's girlfriend) is no longer inside the house and the downstairs neighbor also has been evacuated.
He added that police are "working with the (Batavia City) school district, busing the children from Jackson (School) and making sure the kids stay safe and there's no traffic in the area."
"We're keeping the kids away from the area and keeping the neighbors indoors at this point until we can get the subject in custody."
According to David Zanghi, the downstairs tenant, the incident started when the upstairs tenant (name being withheld at this time) punched his girlfriend in the right eye and took some of her prescription drugs. Zanghi said the suspect also is in an intoxicated state.
"He's got a sword and a BB gun, and he's already shot out a couple windows," Zanghi said. "They (police) won't go in there until they get a warrant; that's what the police told me."
Previously (3:12 p.m.) (by Billie):
A man who was reported to dispatch for allegedly carrying a sword while walking down Liberty Street in the City of Batavia is barricaded in one of three houses cordoned off by police.
The incident began about an hour ago and police immediately established a perimeter around the Liberty Street trio of homes.
Jackson Primary School at 411 S. Jackson St. was put on lockout -- meaning no one is allowed to enter or exit until the scene is secure.
UPDATE 3:26 p.m.: The students have been dismissed and have boarded buses.
UPDATE 9:30 p.m. (by Howard): The standoff continues. Chief Shawn Heubusch said a little while ago that law enforcement is prepared at this point to wait as long as they must for the man in the house to exit on his own safely. The Orleans County SWAT team responded to the incident about 7:30 p.m. and at about 8 p.m., once in position around the house, fired a volley of CS gas canisters into the house. The suspect did not exit the house and there was no communication between law enforcement and the subject for at least 45 minutes, at which point negotiations began again. Heubusch said he's reluctant to send in officers to try and apprehend the suspect because that could lead to serious consequences for either the suspect or an officer and the goal is to ensure there are no serious injuries or fatalities. Trying to make entry could force a confrontation that would require an officer to take decisive action. (We'll post a video and photos later.)
UPDATE 10:53 p.m. (by Howard): Heubusch just confirmed that about three hours ago the suspect tried to stab "Frankie," the K-9 of Deputy Chris Erion. The attempt was unsuccessful. Frankie was not injured.
UPDATE 6:09 a.m. Nov. 19 (by Howard): The individual is still barricaded in the apartment. Law enforcement is still waiting him out. The Monroe County Sheriff's Office has provided additional manpower to provide relief for officers who had been on scene for hours. The contingent from MCSO includes a negotiator who has been trying to talk with the subject. From about 2:20 a.m. to 3 a.m., he did not respond to repeated requests to speak and shortly after 3 a.m. he responded to the officer. The Batavian is continuing to withhold publication of photos and video until the situation is resolved.