NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) - Police are offering some details now on the standoff situation Tuesday evening on Front Avenue SW garnering a lot of attention on social media.
Police Chief Mike Goodwin says it all started when three suspects robbed a Hispanic male in the 100 block of Second Street SW Tuesday afternoon before fleeing to the Front Avenue residence with a machete. Goodwin says the victim’s description of the incident led them to the Front Avenue home next to the New Phila schools administrative building.
“With that information, we were able to get a search warrant. Those individuals, we had the house surrounded with road units. They would not come out so we activated our special response team,” he says.
Goodwin says after giving them a final warning, the special response team forced entry into the home. The encounter attracted a large audience on the scene and on social media. Goodwin says that can cause some concerns for his officers, but he says people were cooperative for the most part.
“Everybody gets very curious in this day of social media, and everybody had their cell phones out and was videotaping what was going on and some were live streaming it as it was happening. We’re concerned with what is going on in the house job and keeping the house secure. I think they kept a fair enough distance. I probably would have rather them been farther away, but they did not interfere with us doing our job,” he says.
The suspects are a 19-year old who lived in the residence where the standoff occurred, 38-year-old John Williams, along with 40-year old Richard Hernandez who was arrested outside the residence prior to the standoff. Williams is charged with aggravated robbery and Hernandez with complicity. They were arraigned Wednesday and are in the county jail being held on $100,000 bonds.
Editor's note: The 19-year-old resident was arrested during the investigation and charged with complicity. That charge was ultimately dismissed by the grand jury.