City police negotiators and family members worked for almost four hours yesterday before finally convincing a 27-year-old man, apparently distraught about his family life, to surrender and put down his .22-caliber, 18-shot rifle.
Shortly after noon yesterday, police said, Joseph Hartlove of the 2500 block of Ashton St. in southwest Baltimore barricaded himself in a rear basement bathroom.
"He was threatening to shoot any police officer who came near and himself," said Southwestern District Sgt. Robert Ackerman.
Ackerman said Hartlove's mother and uncle who were in the house tried repeatedly to persuade him to surrender. "They were just trying to stop him from killing himself," the sergeant said.
"He got out of control," Ackerman said of Hartlove. "A couple of times, he came busting out yelling and holding the gun to his head and ran back in."
Finally, about 3:30 p.m., after relatives were unable to get the man to come out of the house, they were evacuated from the house and three members of the Quick Response Team, a police unit that handles barricade and hostage situations, began talking with Hartlove. About 30 minutes later, he gave up, Ackerman said.
No one was injured.
Hartlove was taken to the University of Maryland Medical Center for psychiatric evaluation, Ackerman said.
"He was distraught over his domestic situation, problems with his wife," Ackerman said.
Ackerman said Hartlove's wife was at the scene.