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Man held after 5-hour standoff in Mascoutah could face charges today
[June 30, 2011]

Man held after 5-hour standoff in Mascoutah could face charges today

Jun 30, 2011 (Belleville News-Democrat - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Police do not expect to file charges until today against a man who held police at bay in Mascoutah, according to Mascoutah Police Chief Bruce Fleshren.

The man remained in custody, though, as of Wednesday morning, pending the filing of charges. He was being held at the St. Clair County Jail.

The five-hour standoff with police started at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday after the 45-year-old man argued with a woman he was living with because she wanted him to move out of the apartment at 917 W. Main St. During the argument he fired two shots from a rifle, according to Fleshren.

There were no additional shots fired after the two initial shots by the suspect. The woman was able to leave the apartment unharmed before the standoff began, and no one was injured.

"Obviously this incident had the potential to end in a very different way," Fleshren said. "We could not have asked for a better resolution to this event. The Mascoutah Police Department is grateful to the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System team and the FBI for their assistance and to the departments that have their officers as part of the team." On Wednesday, police executed a warrant to search the apartment to collect evidence of the event and take into evidence any weapons found there.

The man's name has not been released pending charges, but Fleshren confirmed Wednesday that the man has a criminal record that stretches back 20 years and includes felonies involving weapons. Mascoutah police, however, have not had previous contact with the man and have not responded to the apartment prior to Tuesday night's incident.

So far police have determined the man and woman had been living together in a roommate situation for several months, and when the woman asked him to move out, he became distraught and barricaded himself in the apartment.

After the man fired the rifle, the woman called 911. When police arrived, the man barricaded himself in the apartment, and Main Street from Eighth Street to Church Street was shut down during the standoff.

A regional SWAT team comprised of about 30 Illinois Law Enforcement and Alarm System officers from Madison, Monroe, Clinton and St. Clair counties and an FBI negotiator responded to the scene. The suspect, a 45-year-old man, made no contact with anyone after police arrived, and all attempts to make contact were met with silence. Officers used a robot and cameras to locate the man in an upstairs bedroom but, again, he refused to make contact with law enforcement officials.

The suspect surrendered at 11:20 p.m., about 20 minutes after officers had fired two canisters of OC gas, which is used similarly as tear gas.

To see more of the Belleville News-Democrat, Ill., or to subscribe, visit Copyright (c) 2011, Belleville News-Democrat, Ill.

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