October 23, 2013

Maine tactical team resolves second standoff in single day

Earlier Tuesday the team defused another standoff situation involving an armed suspect, 300 miles away in Aroostook County.

By Dennis Hoey dhoey@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

State police surrounded a mobile home in Hollis for about six hours Tuesday night before they arrested the man who lives there.

The standoff ended around 11 p.m., when Ed Hutchinson, 50, was arrested and charged with reckless conduct with a firearm and criminal threatening, said Steve McCausland, spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety. He was taken to the York County Jail.

McCausland said troopers and the state police tactical team surrounded the man’s mobile home on New County Road after he fired a shotgun blast through a window around 5 p.m.

His wife left the house at that point and told police that her husband was intoxicated and alone in the house. He surrendered to police around 11 p.m. after a six-hour standoff.

Authorities said they used fire trucks to block roads leading to the home. McCausland said negotiators from the Maine State Police went to the man’s home in an effort to persuade him to leave peacefully.

McCausland said the man was alone in the house and posed no threat to anyone in the neighborhood. The tactical squad is only called to a scene when there is a potential for violence.

According to the state police website, the Maine State Police Tactical Team works with the Maine State Police Crisis Negotiation Team to resolve critical incidents, which include barricaded subjects, hostage situations and high-risk warrant services. McCausland said the state police tactical squad worked overtime Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, the team traveled to a remote campsite in Amity, an Aroostook County town just south of Houlton.

Team members spent most of Tuesday trying to convince 65-year-old Gary Knapp to surrender. Knapp, who lives in a small camper off Monument Road in Amity, walked out of the woods around 3 p.m. and turned himself into police.

He is accused of threatening to shoot his brother, Larry Knapp, with a rifle. Larry Knapp lives in a nearby cabin.

Gary Knapp was charged with criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon and transported to the Aroostook County Jail. Police recovered a rifle from his camper. After resolving the Amity confrontation, members of the tactical team traveled nearly 300 miles to reach the Hollis standoff, McCausland said.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

dhoey@pressherald.com

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