As I mentioned yesterday, we came home from our vacation on Saturday and as we pulled up, we noticed four police cars at the entrance to our neighborhood. We paused for a second and my initial fear was that something had happened at the pool. A child recently drowned in a friend's neighborhood and my mind wandered to that thought.
After thinking it through, we realized there were no paramedics or fire department involvement and the police didn't seem to be in any sort of hurry. We chalked it up to kids were probably setting off fireworks and people had complained or something.
We parked and lugged all of our stuff into the house and went about our business, prepping to head for dinner with friends in a little while. When we headed outside to leave, dusk was settling in and we were greeted by flashing lights coming from seemingly everywhere.
At this point there were over a dozen officers, multiple fire trucks and news vehicles. We both looked at each other, completely shocked. We live in a quiet swim and golf community. The largest thing we usually have to deal with is kids riding their bikes in the parking lot and paying no attention. (Although, Wiki would say the largest thing is people who litter, if there is one piece of paper on the ground, he will find it and get it;)
As we went to leave, we asked what was going on and were alerted to the fact that it was a hostage situation. And then we were told we had to move, they were not really letting people in/out at this point.
We texted a few neighbors, each of us trying to garner what was happening. And none of us could really get a grasp at that point. We said a few prayers that it would end well and no one would be hurt and went out to meet our friends.
We thought for sure when we got back home three hours later that the situation would have been diffused. Both of our phones were dead so we couldn't really ascertain any new info. But when we pulled up, it was more far reaching than when we left. The entire main street to our community was blocked off. FBI and SWAT had been added to the mix. Everyone on the pool side of our neighborhood was on complete lock down.
And you couldn't come in or out of our section at this point, unless you could prove you lived there. The area was barricaded by police and yellow caution tape spawned one side of the road to the other.
This is a rather disconcerting way to spend your night, to put it mildly. Most of our close neighborhood friends live on that side and we were frantically trying to reach them to make sure all was well. And I had multiple back and forth panic texts with one in particular...at four am they were supposed to be leaving for the airport to catch a six am flight to the Bahamas so they could get married. At this point, they weren't going to be allowed to leave and to say there was some flipping out would be an understatement. (they got out;)
Once we were back in our house, we flipped on the news to see what was being said and as I logged onto fb and saw a thread in our town's community page, I couldn't help but laugh at it. Talk about smoke and mirrors and full on lies. First, people kept listing off different communities, then someone one said they heard our neighborhood was "sketchy" (hahahahahahaha I still laugh at this one) and then of course people started saying it was a huge "drug bust" and then the speculation that he had four kids he was holding hostage. None of which was true.
The standoff ended a little after two am, lasting for almost nine hours. They tossed in tear gas and he surrendered. He was not actually holding anyone hostage, just himself. I am only writing this story because there was no violent ending. The police did a wonderful job in ending it peacefully and this man is getting the help he needs. This is the biggest point of the whole debacle, instead of being charged (he was arrested at the time) because he was obviously mentally unstable and was not trying to harm anyone but himself, they are seeing to him getting the proper help.
This can happen at anytime in absolutely any neighborhood. I can assure you that I never saw it happening it mine. and I hope to hell I don't have to again any time soon. Or ever. Ever is even better;)