Police fire tear gas into trailer, arrest fugitive in Jay standoff

Posted Feb. 04, 2013, at 6:02 a.m.

JAY, Maine — A tense, hours-long standoff at a trailer park ended when police fired tear gas into the residence, capturing a suspect who had been on the run since Saturday.

The suspect, Michael Gatcomb, was found hiding under a sink at the residence in Pine Haven Trailer Park in North Jay, Jay police Chief Larry White Sr. said.

White praised the efforts of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office for providing initial information on the whereabouts of Gatcomb. Wanted for warrants, including domestic violence and eluding police, Gatcomb had been the subject of a weekend-long search.

According to White, shortly after the call from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, deputies, along with the Jay Police Department, moved in on the residence at the Pine Haven trailer park off Route 4 and blocked all traffic in and out of the park.

Attempts to contact Gatcomb by bullhorn and cellphone were unsuccessful, so fearful Gatcomb might be armed, White decided to call in the Maine State Police Tactical Team.

White said that upon arrival, the Maine State Police made further unsuccessful attempts to reach Gatcomb, using bullhorns, sirens and providing a cellphone.

White said the decision was then made to breach two of the trailer’s windows and deploy gas. He said the teams entered the residence to find Gatcomb, unarmed, hiding beneath a small bathroom sink.

Gatcomb was arrested without further incident and is currently being held by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

Kyle Campbell of Wilton, a friend of the family, was concerned for Gatcomb’s safety. According to Campbell, Gatcomb was planning to die in the standoff.

“I know he does not have a gun in that house,” Campbell said. Campbell said he just wanted him to get help.

 

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