June 22, 2018
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Portland standoff ends peacefully after more than 4 hours

By Dawn Gagnon and Seth Koenig, BDN Staff

PORTLAND, Maine — A standoff Monday between a man who barricaded himself inside an Alder Street duplex and Portland police ended without incident more than four hours after it began.

The suspect was seen being led away from the duplex at 41 Alder St. about 7:40 p.m. It was not immediately clear if any charges have been filed against the man, whose name and age have yet to be released.

Portland police Chief Mike Sauschuk said early Monday evening that the standoff began shortly before 3 p.m., when the police department was sent to the duplex to investigate a report of a domestic violence assault.

The department’s special reaction team was sent to the area and a negotiator was at a duplex at 41 Alder St., where the man had barricaded himself inside one of the units, the police chief said.

“The information we received led us to believe that the individual inside the residence was armed,” Sauschuk said. He said that the department’s negotiator communicated with the man by cellphone in an effort to convince him to end the standoff.

The alleged victim did not require medical attention and the suspect did not have a hostage, the chief said.

At least eight police vehicles converged at the scene, including Portland’s green military-style Bearcat, used for SWAT situations.

A crowd of about 40 people gathered across Portland Street from the incident looking on. Police roped off the area near the intersection of Alder and Oxford streets until the standoff concluded.

Jennifer Bann, who was among the onlookers and said she lives in the area, said police moved a group of pedestrians from the corner of Alder Street because they were in the possible line of fire from the house where the suspect is holed up.

“An officer ran into a house up there around 3:15 with a rifle,” she said. “There was another officer [who looked like he had] a sniper rifle leaning up against a truck across the street.”

Todd Fournier, who is the landlord of the building where the suspect is located, said the suspect is not a tenant of his.

He said police asked him to draw up a map of the building in case they need to go in.

Fournier said he believes the suspect is an acquaintance of his second-floor tenants, who are in the process of moving out.

“For whatever reason, he got upset about something and started waving a gun around,” he said. “[My tenants] felt threatened and went to the police.”

BDN blogger Bob Higgins contributed to this report.

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