Five-hour standoff in Thane ends peacefully

Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2002

A young man with a loaded gun surrendered peacefully to police Wednesday after threatening to kill himself during a five-hour standoff on Thane Road.

Police and Capital City Fire and Rescue closed the last half-mile of Thane about 10:30 a.m. but reopened it after the man handed over his gun around 3 p.m.

The 24-year-old man's name was not released. Police Capt. Tom Porter said the man was taken to Bartlett Regional Hospital and will get a psychiatric evaluation. No charges are pending against him.

"His reasons for wanting to do it were personal," said Sgt. Ben Coronell. "He said he'd be embarrassed if anyone knew, so we will respect that."

The man gave up "because he saw a light at the end of the tunnel and thought there might be some people who could help him," Coronell said.

A resident called police about 10 a.m. to report that a man was sitting at the end of the road near a trailhead acting strange, Porter said. When police arrived, they noticed the man had a gun. He indicated he intended to kill himself, Porter said.

Police called out crisis negotiators. Nearby residents were asked to remain in their homes until the situation was resolved, according to a police press release.

"He would talk for a little while and then wouldn't talk for a long time," said Porter. "There was no need to hurry him. He didn't threaten anyone else. He was only a threat to himself. ..."

While negotiating with the man, police turned away traffic, but did not tell people why they could not get to their homes.

"We really didn't know anything, but I can understand why," said Thane Road resident Diana Cotter, who lives about 20 yards from where the man was sitting. "I left my house three minutes before the police got there and didn't even see the man."

Melanie Plenda can be reached at mplenda@juneauempire.com.



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