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STAND OFF 3-25-14

An emotionally distraught man caused a standoff with law enforcement Monday, March 24, that lasted several hours.

Lemhi County Sheriff Lynn Bowerman said the confrontation finally ended when officers shocked the man with a Taser. He was taken to Steele Memorial Hospital for treatment and a medical evaluation.

According to a press release from the Lemhi County Sheriff’s Office the standoff began just after 10AM when authorities responded to a caller, who was reportedly crying and hyperventilating and asking for help. An officer who arrived at the man’s home on Lombard Street reported the sound of gunfire.

More than a dozen Salmon Police Department and Lemhi County Sheriff’s units surrounded the home, evacuated nearby houses and cordoned off streets.

The man, whose name was withheld, did not respond to officer’s attempts to make contact with him but did speak by telephone to someone who reported to authorities that if they attempted to force their way into the home, someone would get hurt.

Sheriff Bowerman said, “By ‘someone’ we presume that he meant law enforcement’”

The standoff saw residents several blocks away warned either by officers or by an automated telephone message to stay indoors and stay away from windows.

At around 2PM authorities hung a cell phone on the front door in hopes the man would use it to speak with them. When the man opened the door to reach for the telephone, Bowerman used a bull-horn to ask him to step outside. Bowerman said he told the man, “‘We’re friends. Come out and talk to me.’ He came out. Sat down on the porch and started crying.”

Bowerman said the man refused to comply with an order to lie down on the ground. He was then shocked by a Taser and bitten by a police dog before being taken into custody.

The sheriff said law enforcement avoided breaking into the house because that would have heightened tensions. He said, “I didn’t really have a reason to storm the house and it hadn’t escalated to the point where we needed anyone else.” Bowerman was referring to calling for additional resources such as the Idaho State Police.

Authorities continued their search of the home on Monday evening for a firearm that they believed the man may have hidden after discharging it inside the house that morning.

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