A sheriff's negotiator built up a rapport when talking to an alleged suicidal man during a three-hour standoff Friday night, with the man, reportedly drinking tequila, agreeing to a face-to-face chat that ended the situation, the sheriff reported.
The standoff, which occurred at a residence east of Bryan Street on MacArthur Street, ended safely with that man taken into custody, said Pottawatomie County Sheriff Mike Booth. No injuries were reported.
It was about 4:10 p.m. when sheriff's deputies first responded to the area, where a man claimed he had a rifle and C-4 explosives, Booth said.
Deputies determined the home was located on Sac and Fox tribal trust land, Booth said, but Sheriff's Lt. Jimmy Brewer had already established phone communications with the person inside. Authorities from numerous agencies then began working together to bring the situation to a peaceful ending.
"He [Brewer] was building up a rapport," Booth said, despite their communications being cut off several times when the man would hang up the phone. During those talks, Booth said authorities heard at least one round fired, so they knew a firearm was involved.
During the ordeal, the man also was making numerous threats, Booth said. At one point, he was upset about a TV news helicopter flying around the area and made other threats, Booth said, so the chopper was asked to leave.
As Brewer continued to chat with the man by phone, their conversation focused on what the man was drinking, which was tequila, Booth said.
"For three and a half hours, he [Brewer] was able to talk to the guy," Booth said, with the man agreeing he would finally talk to Brewer in person.
Booth said Brewer asked the man to set up a couple lawn chairs so Brewer could come up to the house for a visit and some tequila, but only if the man would put away his weapon.
Brewer approached the house with two Sac and Fox tribal police officers in the back seat of a patrol unit, the sheriff reported.
"We were concerned he would try to shoot somebody or himself," the sheriff said.
When Brewer saw the man put down a weapon on a table, the group saw that as an opportunity to take the man into custody, Booth said, with the tribal officers reportedly using a taser during the takedown.
Once in custody, the sheriff said they determined the man did have a pistol, not a rifle as initially reported, and there was no confirmation of any C-4 explosives ever found in the home.
Working with Sac and Fox tribal police and sheriff's deputies at the scene were Absentee Shawnee tribal police, the District Attorney's task force and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Booth said. A law enforcement staging area was set up at the nearby Hilltop Baptist Church, where paramedics also were standing by, Booth said.
Page 2 of 2 - "We were all working together for a peaceful resolution," Booth said. "When it's serious enough that someone goes to that extreme…we need to get them some help."