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3-Hour Stand Off Ends in the Woodlands As Man Gives Himself Up to SWAT Team

| May 14, 2011

standoff in the woodlands swat team palm coast

Members of the SWAT team, in driving drain, near the house in the Woodlands where a man was threatening to harm himself Saturday afternoon. (FlaglerLive)

Last Updated: 6:30 p.m.

A man in his early 50s and the Flagler County Sheriff’s SWAT team and other units were in a tense stand-off from 2:30 p.m. to just after 5 p.m. today in a quiet cul-de-sac in Palm Coast’s Woodlands as the man threatens to harm himself–or others. The man gave himself up peacefully.

Wielding a knife earlier today, the man, a trucker reported to be very depressed, threatened to harm his girlfriend and her 18 or 19-year-old daughter, at which point the girlfriend called 911.

The man was holed up in his girlfriend’s house at 25 Blythe Place, a dead-end street in the southern end of the Woodlands, one of Palm Coast’s oldest sections. The neighborhood is inhabited by people who’ve been there years. The house is owned by Patricia Jones.

For three hours, traffic was blocked at Oak Trails Blvd. and Blare Drive. Motorists, even those who live in that section of the Woodlands, were prevented from driving in. About a dozen or so parked on the Oak Trails and waited–and waited–all afternoon for the resolution of the crisis. Some who had parked there walked back to their homes in a different way, though houses surrounding the house where the man was holed up were evacuated.

The Sheriff’s Office brought in its mobile command center and a large, but undetermined, number of units in addition to the SWAT team.

On Blythe Court itself, about eight to 10 houses down from the stand-off, neighbors like Sean Carter in one house, Chris Wilkins in another and Kim Samson in a third went about their afternoon almost normally, waiting out the crisis and looking outside from time to time to see if anything had changed.

“This is a dead-end street,” Carter said. “Nothing ever happens on this street. I’ve lived here six years, this is the first crime that’s ever happened here.”

Samson earlier this afternoon talked with the man’s girlfriend, who described in detail the way the situation developed, beginning last night.

“I talked to her as the SWAT team and all of them were setting up,” Sanson said. “Her and her daughter were standing by their car and she was telling me that she came home yesterday and he was, acting, you know, in a really bad mood, and he’s been real depressed, and she just said that, you know, she decided to leave, and go home–go to a motel, I mean, for the night, and let him calm down and stuff, and that he also had a knife and was kind of swinging the knife around and stuff like that. She said that she just wanted to get away from him for a while, see if he would calm down and stuff, and then she said she came home this afternoon, or early afternoon, I guess, probably around noon or so, and he just continued to go off. I’m not 100 percent for sure but I think she said something about he has a knife or a gun, and that he was going to shoot himself and or her, something to that effect. That’s when she called the police.”

The man’s girlfriend, too, is a truck driver.

Samson did not know the names of either, though she said the woman had two children. The woman’s daughter was with her, and the pair spent the afternoon, during the standoff, in the mobile command center.

“That’s the first time I’ve ever spoken with her. I just walked up to her, asked her if she was OK, I just wanted to make sure she was all right,” Samson said. She was “very shaken up, of course. Very shaken, very nervous, scared, for her daughter, her safety and her.” Samson added, “She thanked me for asking because she goes, you know, you’re the only person that’s asked me how I’m doing.”

25 Blythe Place, early this evening, after the incident. (© FlaglerLive)

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