Police say charges not likely after Greenwood standoff

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GREENWOOD, Ind. (January 27, 2016) - Greenwood Police officials say the man who prompted a five-hour standoff at his home off Smith Valley Road Monday evening will likely not face charges related to the incident.

But police have removed more than a dozen firearms from the man’s home.

Greenwood Police Sergeant Matthew Fillenwarth said the man is now being treated at the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center for mental illness.  Fillenwarth said the man is a 68-year-old Vietnam War veteran who has been treated at the VA Hospital for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in the past.

The standoff at 450 Robbins Drive ended Monday evening when Greenwood Police eventually used tear gas and foam pellets to bring the man into custody.  Before that, neighbors said he had fired several shots from a shotgun on his front porch.  Fillenwarth said the man held the shotgun in the air and yelled at officers when they arrived.

After about five hours, Fillenwarth said negotiations were not working, so police used non-lethal force to get the man into custody.

It’s not the first time Greenwood Police had been called to the man’s home.  Fillenwarth said neighbors had called police in the past about arguments and disturbances involving the man.  But none of those incidents ever turned violent, Fillenwarth said.

A week before Monday’s standoff, police visited the man’s home after getting a call from Veterans Affairs.

“We’d been there about a week before when apparently he had called the VA hospital and said he had a gun to his head,” Fillenwarth said.

But when officers arrived, Fillenwarth said the man denied making that call to the VA Hospital.

“When our officers got there, he wasn’t saying he was going to kill himself, didn’t have a gun to his head, didn’t say he was going to harm himself,” Fillenwarth said.  “By law, if we are going to do an immediate detention, the officer has to swear on an affidavit that we believe this person to be a harm to themself or to others.  And so at that time, if he doesn’t make that statement to the officers, there’s nothing we can do.”

After removing the man from the home, police gained entry into the house and found multiple weapons inside.

“In the bedroom, next to the living room, he had probably at least a dozen loaded handguns and rifles,” Fillenwarth said.

Police said receipts for the weapons were dated between 2011 and 2014.  Police did not know Wednesday if the man was diagnosed with PTSD before purchasing the guns or after.

“When he purchased those firearms, he may have been just fine,” Fillenwarth.  “Maybe he had some problems, but not to the degree that we encountered the other night.”

Fillenwarth said the man was being held at the VA Hospital for treatment and evaluation.  He did not anticipate criminal charges against the man.

The man’s guns are being held in the Greenwood Police property room.  A hearing will be held every six months to determine whether the guns will be returned.

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