Tear gas brings Mass. man out of home

Linda Bock, Telegram & Gazette Staff
Copyright 2006 Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

MENDON- In a dramatic conclusion to a five-hour-plus standoff in a residential neighborhood last night, a SWAT team fired several rounds of tear gas into a home at 52 Bellingham St. about 10:40 p.m., and that led to the arrest, just before 11 p.m., of a man who had barricaded himself for more than five hours. He had allegedly fired one gunshot earlier.

A number of neighbors reported seeing a woman run outside screaming about 5:30 p.m., and called 911 to report the sound of a gunshot.

Police arrested Stanley Bouchard, of 52 Bellingham St., after the lengthy standoff, and then transported him to Milford Regional Medical Center, to be treated for minor tear gas injuries. Police Chief Ernest Horn said Mr. Bouchard will face a number of charges, but police were still investigating late last night.

The standoff began shortly after 5 p.m. Chief Horn said there were two females in the house, the suspect's mother and girlfriend, at the time that one gunshot was fired.

Chief Horn said he could not comment on the target of the gunshot. After the gunshot, the suspect barricaded himself in the house by locking the doors and closing windows.

Police negotiated with him for hours by telephone, according to Chief Horn, but when it became clear that negotiations had broken off completely and the suspect was not going to come out of the house, the chief approved the use of the tear gas.

"We wanted to give him every opportunity to come out and surrender peacefully," Chief Horn said.

Gerri Minardi, one of the neighbors who were evacuated from Millbrook Drive, was relieved when police let her back into her house. She commiserated with Mary K. Kernan, of Parker Drive, in a tense wait that seemed to be endless.

"This is kind of scary,'' Ms. Kernan said. "You don't expect something like this to happen here."

Mendon Police were assisted by the Central Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council's SWAT team - a team that consists of police from 30 towns, as well as police from Worcester and many other surrounding towns, and the Worcester County Sheriff's office.

Hopedale Police Officer Don Martin holds a shotgun, as curious residents are kept a safe distance away from a house on Bellingham Road, where an armed man had barricaded himself inside yesterday. 


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