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Published: Sunday, January 14, 2018 @ 12:13 PM
LIBERTY TWP. — A heated late Friday night incident that boiled over into a nearly 30-hour standoff with SWAT ended early Sunday with the arrest of a man who held a 10-year-old boy hostage at an apartment complex in Liberty Twp..
That suspect, Donald Tobias Gazaway, 31, surrendered at 6:36 a.m. Sunday morning in the 7000 block of East Hamilton Place in Liberty Twp., according to Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones. Gazaway is booked into the Butler County Jail on charges of kidnapping, felonious assault and inducing panic.
The 10-year-old hostage was safe following the standoff, which Jones said would not have ended as well without the assistance of West Chester and Hamilton police departments and the Liberty Twp. Fire Department.
“We’re very fortunate that when these departments were there, that the guy came out and he gave up,” Jones said. “We didn’t think at times we were going to get a good resolve from this. We felt that he wanted us to shoot him at different times, but we could not do anything, we couldn’t breach, we couldn’t come in because … any movement that he made was always with that child.”
“We could hear the child inside, he was crying, he was wanting to get out.”
The incident started at 11:27 p.m. Friday when the boy’s mother called police saying a man was in her apartment at the Springs at Liberty Twp. with a gun and demanding money, Jones said.
Neighbors told this media outlet that the boy’s mother ran from townhouse to townhouse, banging on doors and seeking safety. The woman was crying, barefooted and with pajamas only, one neighbor described. The woman’s blood was still visible on at least two of those doors on Sunday.
Police made cellphone contact with Gazaway at 11:38 p.m. and shots were reported fired inside the apartment at 11:51 p.m., leading police to evacuate surrounding apartments in the complex.
Shots were again fired from inside the apartment between 4 and 6 a.m. Saturday with Gazaway using the boy as a shield, according to police. Officers breached the front door around 6 a.m. to communicate with Gazaway and shots were fired at a police robot around 7:47 a.m.
At 9 a.m., police made visual confirmation that Gazaway was using the child as a shield with a gun to his neck and at 11 a.m. he took the boy to the apartment’s garage and got in a car, where he fired shots at 12:52 p.m., Jones said.
Negotiations continued from 1 p.m. Saturday through the night until Gazaway surrendered without incident.
Jones said the boy’s mother knew Gazaway “a couple of weeks” and was a friend of the family.
He said he could not yet disclose the type of firearm that was fired at police or the extent of damage it caused to police equipment. Jones said more than two dozens shots were fired by the suspect in the incident. Police did not fire a shot, Jones added.
This isn’t Gazaway’s first run-in with the law. State records show he served more than four years in prison for felonious assault and a gun specification out of Hamilton County, and was released from prison in July and remained under the supervision of Ohio’s Adult Parole Authority, according to our news partner, WCPO-TV.
The suspect using a child as a human shield “definitely changes the dynamics of the standoff,” said Hamilton Police Chief Craig Bucheit.
“Having a hostage, especially a hostage of this age and a child, I can tell you that I know that probably without exception every officer, every operator that was out there is a parent and a lot of those operators have their own children at home about this age,” Bucheit said. “Everybody knew just what was at stake, how important this was, and I think this really helped keep these folks going through some very difficult, long hours, very difficult conditions.”
Bucheit credits negotiators for doing “an outstanding job” of talking to Gazaway, keeping him calm and building a rapport with him, even as he fluctuated between wanting to let the boy go and standing his ground against police.
“Over enough time, I think that finally wore him down and he was out of options,” Bucheit said. “He was in the car, the car was running, it was getting low on gas … (temperatures) are in the single digits … and eventually he just wore down and gave up.”
West Chester Police Chief Joel Herzog said the standoff was one of the most difficult and challenging that he had been involved with and even been aware of in his 27 years in law enforcement.
He said it was “very valuable” that the various departments all were on the same radio system because it allowed for “seamless” communication between the three law enforcement agencies.
The boy was sent to a hospital for observation. His mother told WCPO she was “happy that this turned out right.”
“He’s a brave little boy,” she said. “All he wanted to do at the end of the day was protect mommy. I think he was more concerned about me being safe versus him being stuck with the bad guy.”
The suspect was like family, the mother of the boy told WCPO, but he acted strangely and aggressively before the standoff.
Published: Saturday, January 09, 2016 @ 1:39 PM
Updated: Monday, June 06, 2016 @ 10:20 AM
— A Georgia police department is advising drivers to not use hazard lights while driving, even in the rain.
In some states, the use of hazard lights is permitted while driving.
The metro Atlanta police department warned that using hazard lights may actually signal to other drivers that you are stopped or stalled on the road, and the lights can reduce the ability to see if the vehicles ahead are braking.
Hazard lights also "turn off your ability to use your turn signals," the police department wrote in its Facebook post.
Instead of using hazard lights while driving, consider not driving at all until road conditions improve.
"If you cannot see, pull over to a safe place and wait (until) driving conditions are better," the department wrote. "Your flashers should only be used while your vehicle is stopped or disabled on the roadway or shoulder. This is a sign for emergency services that someone is in need of assistance."
Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 12:00 AM
FAIRFIELD — A 19-year-old woman is facing a felony charge after police said she was found in possession of 93 sedative pills.
A Fairfield police officer pulled a vehicle over on Pleasant Avenue near Hunter Road on May 23 for having no license plate lights. While approaching the vehicle, the officer said he saw the driver “stuffing a bag between her legs inside her pants.”
POLICE NEWS: Hamilton man cited for hitting house with car
The driver, Trinity Gilbert, of Hamilton, was ordered to remove the bag and place it on the seat.
The resealable bag contained 93 alprazolam pills, which often goes by the brand name of Xanax.
Gilbert said the pills belonged to a friend — a person she would not name — that left them in the vehicle, according to a police report.
“At the time of the stop she was wearing pajama pants and a knit shirt,” according to the officer’s report. “Based on her clothing, it didn’t appear she had planned on being in public.”
Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 4:18 AM
Investigators with the Lacey Police Department said a man walked into the restaurant and ordered a cup of coffee, but was upset over the 97-cent price.
After he received his coffee, the man poured it into his to-go mug and then demanded a refill from the manager.
Investigators said the manager asked the man to leave after he got verbally abusive about the price of the coffee.
The man then got upset and threw the cup of hot coffee into the manager’s face and fled.
Do you know this guy? He threw hot coffee in the employees face this morning. pic.twitter.com/a9HuD9Sd6T— Lacey Police (@LaceyPolice) May 25, 2018
Police said the manager had burns on her neck. KIRO reported that the manager was being treated for third-degree burns.
The man is being sought for simple assault, according to Lacey Police.
Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 7:53 PM
Updated: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 11:51 PM
COLUMBUS — UPDATE @ 11:50 p.m.: The alert for the 79-year-old Columbus man has been canceled.
An Endangered Missing Adult Alert has been issued for a Columbus man.
Stanley Lapcynski, 79, suffers from dementia and was last seen around noon Friday when he left his residence but did not return.
He stands 5 feet 6 inches and weighs 190 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a Home Depot shirt and blue jeans.
He is believed to be driving a dark green 2001 Chevrolet Aveo with Ohio plate FFW4599.