3-hour standoff ends with gunman's arrest Man, 46, sent for psychiatric tests

April 15, 1993|By Bill Talbott | Bill Talbott,Staff Writer

A Westminster man who kept half the city police force at bay with a high-powered rifle for more than three hours was arrested, taken to the city lockup and then to Carroll County General Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation yesterday.

David Nathan Hakes, 46, surrendered minutes before police, led by Chief Sam Leppo, planned to flush him out by flooding the basement of his three-bedroom rancher in the 300 block of Greengate Court with smoke and gas bombs.

Chief Leppo said the police dispatcher received a call at 9:06 a.m. from a man who said he had assaulted his wife. The caller said he did not know whether she was injured.

The dispatcher sent a patrol car to the address in The Greens development to check on Linda Hakes, said Cpl. Rick May, a police spokesman.

Before the patrol car arrived, Linda Hakes called police, saying she was Mr. Hakes' wife.

The woman said her husband was in the house but she was not hurt and it was not necessary for police to respond.

Standard policy is for the officer to continue to the scene and JTC verify that the second caller was not being forced to make the call, Corporal May said.

When the first officer arrived at the house, Mrs. Hakes told him her husband had pushed her and had run to the basement carrying a shotgun as the officer appeared.

More police were called to surround the house. At least four of them tried to talk with the man, who remained in the basement.

While officers were trying to talk with Mr. Hakes, others arranged the evacuation of more than 18 houses on the cul-de-sac and on Mayfield Court behind the house.

Several police snipers took positions behind the house in case the man were to come out of the rear sliding doors of the basement and start shooting.

The Crisis Response Team, wearing flak jackets, helmets and gas masks, entered the house about 11:30 a.m., just after Chief Leppo called a fire engine and medic unit to the scene.

A police dog joined the 15 officers, about half the city force, as Chief Leppo decided to drop smoke and gas bombs from the first floor into the basement.

Just then, Pfc. Barbara Litchfield, a five-year veteran of the force who was acting as negotiator, saw Mr. Hakes place a weapon at the bottom of the steps inside the basement and back away.

So police put the assault plan on hold while Private Litchfield continued to talk to him.

During the three hours, Mr. Hakes refused to respond to any negotiation attempts and "spoke not one word," Chief Leppo said.

At 11:59 a.m., police said, the man walked past the gun and up the steps to surrender.

Mr. Hakes was arrested, handcuffed and escorted out of the house to a patrol car.

He was taken to the Westminster police station for processing, and then to the hospital for an emergency evaluation.

Police said the weapon was a high-powered 30-06 rifle equipped with telescopic sights. It was not loaded when recovered, they said.

No other weapons were found in the house, and no one was injured, police said.

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