Longmont Standoff, as paged

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Dec 11, 2002
LONGMONT — A nearly three-hour standoff on South Pratt Parkway ended peaceably Saturday after a woman who had locked herself in her house with several hunting rifles surrendered to police.

The 45-year-old woman gave herself up to police at 1:45 p.m. after a SWAT team got her attention by breaking out her front window with a dowel. Police said no one else was in the house, and that she had not hurt herself or anyone else.

The incident happened in the 1200 block of South Pratt Parkway, near Missouri Avenue. Police evacuated 15 neighboring homes within a two-block radius, as well as nearby Kanemoto Park, where children’s soccer teams had been playing that morning.

“I was just watching TV and having a lazy day,” said Nicole Mutchler, who lives on South Terry Street, just a block from the incident. “I hadn’t even brushed my teeth and the SWAT team came over and said ‘Ma’am, we need you to leave.”

Police Sgt. Tim Lewis said the woman’s estranged husband called police around 11 a.m. Saturday. The man told police that his wife had called him, that she had been having mental health issues, and that they appeared to have gotten abruptly worse. According to Lewis, she told her husband that she had taken an overdose of pills to try to kill herself.

“She has access to lots of ammunition and long guns — rifles and shotguns —and she’s refusing to cooperate with law enforcement,” Lewis said during the standoff. She was not answering telephone calls or acknowledging officers outside her home, he said.

Meghan Rogers, a South Terry Street resident, said she was just returning from Wal-Mart when she saw police all over the neighborhood and had to re-route just to get home.

“At first, we thought it was a meth lab,” she said. “It turned out to be a more exciting Saturday than I planned on,” her husband Kirk Rogers said.

Once the SWAT team broke out the window, they were able to begin negotiating with the woman, Lewis said. After she surrendered, she was taken to Longmont United Hospital for a mental health evaluation.

A small dog in the home was taken to the Longmont Humane Society. No shots were fired during the incident, either by the woman or by police.

“I’m glad that nothing really bad happened,” Meghan Rogers said, as police packed up and left the neighborhood.

Scott Rochat can be reached at 303-684-5220 or srochat@times-call.com.
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