MILTON—Crowds watched anxiously from backyards Wednesday as a SWAT team armed with automatic weapons and police dogs descended on a home on a quiet street in Milton to remove a man who was barricaded inside and threatening to kill police.
After hours in a standoff on Phyllis Lane, the man emerged from his home shirtless, and was led away in handcuffs by authorities.
A neighbor watching the scene unfold, Rachael Casini, said she knew the man and that he “just seemed like a happy go-lucky guy” who she occasionally spoke with. She was stunned to see him escorted out by SWAT members.
“Never in a million years,” said Casini, when questioned if she could have imagined the incident that took place only two doors away from her home. “He’s a very nice, very soft-spoken guy. I’m just shocked that this happened on the street.”
Police received a call from a family member of the man around 1:30 p.m., who said he “started acting despondent” and was making references to weapons he owned, said Milton Police Chief Richard G. Wells Jr. After two police officers arrived at the residence, the 59-year-old suspect, who has not been identified by authorities, allegedly attempted to attack the officers, said Wells.
“He stated that he had a .45 [handgun] and that he was going to shoot,” said Wells. “He stated he would kill police.”
After the man threatened officers, police and the family member left the home and tried to open up communications with the suspect, but were allegedly met with hostility, said Wells. SWAT teams were brought in, along with canine units and a robot, which was used to enter the home and locate the suspect, he said.
He was located in the cellar and he was arrested unarmed and without a fight, said Wells.
The man was led out of the home around 7:30 p.m.
A pocket of neighbors cheered on police and SWAT team members as the incident was resolved and authorities began to clear the scene. One onlooker, Jason Turner, 16, said he was relieved.
“I appreciated what these guys do,” he said of the police. “They’re keeping our neighborhood safe.”
Wells said the man had recently returned home from a hospital. The suspect does not have a violent history and he was committed to a nearby psychiatric hospital for evaluation on Wednesday, said Wells.
“This could have had a much different outcome,” he said, sharing the relief of the neighborhood. “I am glad this had a positive ending.”