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Man nabbed after standoff


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A tense standoff ended peacefully after law enforcement officers who set an armed perimeter around a North Havre residence for four-and-a-half hours found the man they were looking for hiding in a tree across the road.

Four sheriff's deputies and the undersheriff, aided by five Havre police officers, responded shortly after 4:30 this morning after receiving a report from a female caller of a suicidal male who had access to weapons and had threatened to harm himself if officers came, Sheriff Don Brostrom said.

The man, after being apprehended, was transported to Northern Montana Hospital, Brostrom said, and it is not determined if any charges will be filed.

Until charges are filed, he declined to release the man's name.

Some residents of the area said they did not know what was going on while the officers were keeping the house under surveillance.

"I got up and was opening the curtains and saw the cops over there," said Sandy Laursen, adding "I didn't hear a thing." Cindy Lee said while the perimeter was being maintained that she did not know why the deputies and police officers were at the scene.

"They are tight-lipped," she said.

Because the man was reported to have access to guns and weapons, deputies responded with weapons, as well, Brostrom said, and they worked from a staging area that was cordoned off.

No indication that the man might harm others was made, Brostrom said.

Sheriff's deputies and police officers were stationed in a perimeter around the house, on the 1200 Block of 3rd Street North, with firearms drawn and pointed at the residence where the 18-year-old Havre man had been. An officer was posted several hundred yards south of the residence, blocking traffic from turning in from 1st Street North.

Shortly after 8 a.m., several officers entered the residence, but the man was not found. Officers then searched the grounds around the residence.

"He had apparently climbed and was hiding in a tree," Brostrom said of where the man was apprehended around 9 a.m. The large cottonwood was across the road from the residence, in a field on the southwest side of the intersection of 3rd Street North and 13th Avenue North.

It is not clear at this time if the man was in the residence when officers arrived or if he exited the house via a window or other opening after officers arrived. Brostrom said that the man could have left the residence through a window before all the law enforcement arrived or when officers were securing the female caller in a patrol vehicle and all eyes were not trained on the house.

Residents in neighboring houses were not evacuated from the area, but were advised to remain in their homes with the doors locked during the incident, he said.


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