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December 11, 2007
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Five-hour Utah standoff ends safely with arrest

Lead negotiator: "I'm good to my word."

By Russ Rizzo
The Salt Lake Tribune

MIDVALE, Utah — A Midvale police hostage negotiator used two weapons —"words and time" — to talk a man into giving himself up after a nearly five-hour stand-off Monday.

The promise of a telephone call to his wife and a threat of force helped end the ordeal without a shot.

The man fought with officers trying to arrest him during a traffic stop at about 3 a.m., punching one of them in the eye, Midvale police said. An officer deployed a Taser, but the man pulled the Taser's metal prongs off and ran to the nearby Park Station apartments, at 150 W. 7200 South, where he remained until he walked out with his arms up at about 7:45 a.m.

The man allowed the resident of the apartment to leave about 20 minutes into the standoff and barricaded the door with furniture, police said. He spoke on the telephone to others for a while but refused to answer calls from police.

About an hour later, SWAT team members threw a "flash-bang" concussion grenade - which emits a blinding flash of light and a disorienting loud blast - into the apartment to motivate the man to answer Detective S.M. "D.J." DeJarnatt's telephone call.

"He was up and down with extreme emotions," DeJarnatt said of the 1 1/2 -hour negotiation. "I walked him through how he could end it safely without escalation." 
  
The man had a "whole host" of personal problems but was mostly worried police would hurt him if he gave himself up, DeJarnatt said.

She explained exactly how to surrender without getting hurt - at one point telling him, "If you come out with a knife or a gun, we're going to shoot you," - but he refused to act after 45 minutes, DeJarnatt said.

To show the man they were serious, SWAT team members threw another concussion grenade in the apartment.

The tactic worked, DeJarnatt said, although she spent 30 more minutes calming the man down and explaining his options before he walked out.

As the man sat handcuffed in the back of a patrol car, DeJarnatt walked up to him and made good on a promise: She handed him her cellular phone and allowed him to call his wife.

"I'm good to my word," DeJarnatt said.

The man was booked into Salt Lake County jail on suspicion of kidnapping, assaulting a police officer, burglary and resisting arrest. Officers had pulled over the car he was riding in for an expired registration and then focused their attention on him when he produced a false identification, said Sgt. Marcelo Rapela, a police spokesman.

Copyright 2007 The Salt Lake Tribune

Full story: Five-hour Utah standoff ends safely with arrest






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