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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Cheeseburger ends standoff as negotiator takes down suspect at front door

  • A standoff ended in a Shawnee neighborhood Thursday evening when a police negotiator, armed with a cheeseburger and a banana shake, convinced a suspect inside a home to open the front door before grabbing the suspect and taking him to the ground.
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    A standoff ended in a Shawnee neighborhood Thursday evening when a police negotiator, armed with a cheeseburger and a banana shake, convinced a suspect inside a home to open the front door before grabbing the suspect and taking him to the ground.
     
    Authorities worked the standoff scene Thursday afternoon and evening in the 700 block of North Tucker.
     
    Chad Pope, commander of the Pottawatomie County Sheriff's Office warrant team, along with warrant deputy Danny Columbus, had gone to 707 N. Tucker to serve an arrest warrant to Timothy Deatherage, 45.
     
    When they knocked on the door, Deatherage answered, then allegedly slammed the door and barricaded himself inside after yelling that he had a gun, Shawnee Police Chief Russell Frantz said.
     
    Erring on the side of caution, the deputies backed off the home and set up a perimeter. Other deputies, along with Sheriff Mike Booth, as well as Frantz, numerous Shawnee police officers and Absentee Shawnee tribal police, coordinated events and worked as a team, with REACT EMS paramedics also at the scene.
     
    Shawnee Police Cpl. George Stafford, serving as the negotiator trying to get him to come out, spent time talking with Deatherage by phone as deputies and officers, with guns drawn, had the single-story frame house surrounded. Two other people who were in the house were able to leave the home safely, Booth said.
     
    As negotiations by phone continued for some time, neighbors watched from down the block. One family a few doors down and across the street had a bird's eye view of the scene from their garage and driveway, where 10-year-old Javen Osborne still managed to get her math homework done.
     
    Upon returning home and seeing police cars along her block, Lori Osborne said she was scared, at first. As a real-life episode of COPS unfolded in the street, she and the family watched as Javen, still doing homework, was fascinated by everything going on around her.
     
    "I've never seen cops in real life other than TV," Javen said.
     
    For Lori Osborne, watching the scene made her admire the officers as they worked in the heat with full tactical gear and standing at attention during the standoff, she said.
     
    Police cars filled a section from near Ridgewood Street to Anna Street, while a few blocks down, life seemed normal as a delivery truck turned into the neighborhood.
     
    Stafford, sitting in a quiet police car as armed officers and deputies kept watch on the house, was talking with Deatherage on the phone when he allegedly asked for a cheeseburger, with all the vegetables, as well as a banana shake.
    Page 2 of 2 - An officer went to a nearby restaurant to pick up the order and returned. Stafford, wearing his everyday police uniform and carrying a sack and the shake, calmly walked up the steps to the home and knocked on the front door.
     
    As it opened, Stafford partially saw Deatherage, who allegedly asked Stafford to come inside to talk.
     
    Stafford reported that he asked Deatherage to step more into the front door, where he could safely see him. As Stafford prepared to hand Deatherage the cheeseburger and the banana shake, he dropped the food and tackled the suspect out the front door and to the ground.
     
    Tactical officers quickly surrounded them as Deatherage was taken into custody, ending the situation peacefully.
    As soon as the take down occurred, neighbors watching from down the block yelled out screams of cheer. As for 10-year-old Javen, she said seeing all the activity might make her think about becoming a police officer when she grows up.
    Deatherage was transported to the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center and booked into jail on a $50,000 bond for the domestic assault and battery warrant, jail records show. According to online court records, there aren't yet any formal charges listed.
     
    Booth, who called the team effort an "outstanding operation," said everyone worked together to bring it to a safe conclusion. The sheriff said it was another example that area law enforcement officers are all one team.
     
    At the time he was taken into custody, Deatherage did not have a weapon, authorities said at the scene.
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