Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Standoff ends without injury

POSTED: April 6, 2010
A man with a high-powered rifle kept law enforcement officials from across the county on guard for nearly three hours Monday before finally turning himself over to them.
Two city police officers at 3:56 p.m. Monday responded to the home of Brian Kyser, 36, 40 E. Duquesne St., a janitor at South Side Middle School, for a report that he had threatened a neighbor while holding a rifle. By the time of his surrender, about a dozen officers from the city police department and the Special Response Team of the county Sheriff's Office were occupying the area, blocking off nearby streets and sporting protective vests, helmets and rifles of their own.
Kyser has been charged with a first-degree misdemeanor charge of aggravated menacing. Though he maintained conversation with negotiator Detective Jeff Haugh during the standoff, police Chief Tim Gladis said he never threatened any police officers.
"I think he was just very upset. He didn't want to come out and he didn't want to go to jail," Sheriff Ray Stone said.
Problems at the home started when Kyser had an argument with his girlfriend earlier in the afternoon. Gladis noted there was no domestic violence, but Kyser threw and kicked his girlfriend's purse, causing her keys to fly out and land in a neighbor's driveway.
The neighbor, whom police had not identified Monday night, had a verbal exchange with Kyser, during which he told the neighbor he would kill her. He then reportedly went inside, returned holding a 30-30 rifle and repeated the threat to the neighbor, after which she called police.
"There was never a hostage. He was alone in the house at all times," Gladis said, noting neither the girlfriend nor the neighbor was in Kyser's home during the standoff.
Police seized a total of five firearms from the home, including the rifle Kyser had been holding and a .50-caliber muzzleloader.
There seemed to be little activity in the early hours of the standoff, and police had to direct several onlookers to safety behind a nearby church building. More than a half dozen neighbors, many of them children, who were not from the house of the neighbor Kyser allegedly threatened, stayed on the porch of their homes for most of the incident.
Around 6:10 p.m., Kyser, holding a rifle in one hand and wearing no shirt, walked out the back door, holding his other hand up for the special response team members to see. He then apparently reached down to grab something from the table on the back porch and re-entered the house.
Gladis acknowledged that Kyser had walked out onto the porch but did not know that he had picked anything up.
Kyser surrendered to law enforcement officials at 6:41 p.m. as officers moved in toward the house from several directions.
"I think he was drinking. He smelled like it," Stone commented after speaking with Kyser.
Two sharpshooters from the special response team set up in a room directly across an alley at Colonial Apartments, keeping watch over the back of the residence.
There were no shots fired during the entire ordeal, and no one was injured.
"It was a textbook operation," Gladis said.
The chief was unsure if there would be additional charges against Kyser.
Staff Writer Tom Giambroni contributed to this story.

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