A domestic assault incident that forced Westbrook police to evacuate an apartment building and several surrounding homes on Lamb Street ended peacefully Tuesday night when the suspect surrendered to officers at the police station.

Brandon Conley

Police Chief Janine Roberts said Brandon M. Conley, 32, of Westbrook assaulted a female victim in an apartment at 34 Lamb St. before threatening to commit suicide with a handgun.

When officers arrived a few minutes after 2 p.m., they were able to escort the victim and her infant child to safety. Officers evacuated the apartment building, along with several surrounding homes, because they believed Conley was still inside and was armed.

While an officer trained in crisis negotiations tried to make contact with Conley via a public address system, several Westbrook officers, ambulance crews and an armored truck – the Cumberland County Emergency Services Unit – were called in.

A neighbor told WCSH-TV that he heard a couple fighting just before police arrived.

People who were forced out of their homes waited in their cars. But the situation dragged on for four hours, according to WCSH, before Conley – who somehow had fled from the apartment building – surrendered to police at a completely different location.

“Our negotiators were able to connect with Mr. Conley via cellphone,” Roberts said in a statement Tuesday night. “They learned that he had fled the house seconds prior to the initial officers’ arrival and eventually negotiated his surrender to officers at the Westbrook Public Safety Building.”

Roberts said that Conley was not in possession of the handgun when he surrendered to police. Investigators found out to whom he gave the gun and were able to retrieve it, the chief said.

Conley was being held at the Cumberland County Jail without bail. He faces charges of aggravated assault and domestic violence assault, and is scheduled to appear in District Court in Portland at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

“I and the Westbrook Police Department want to thank all the residents who were displaced during the incident due to the evacuations for their patience while we worked at a peaceful resolution to this uncertain situation,” Roberts said.

Staff Writer Megan Doyle contributed to this report.

 

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