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December 14, 2012

Police successful in 6-hour standoff

Chief: 'No injuries ... best possible outcome'

GLOUCESTER — Police successfully talked a Gloucester resident from the edge of suicide during a standoff lasting nearly six hours.

Cleveland Garron, 48, barricaded himself alone in his Beauport Avenue residence around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. Police arrived after receiving a phone call from someone outside the house.

He remained there until about 3 a.m. Thursday, spending most of the time with a gun to his head, pacing back and forth within his house, refusing to talk to police, before surrending.

He faces charges of disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct, threatening to commit a crime, possession of a firearm and ammunition without licenses and possession of a dangerous weapon.

Negotiations began immediately with the arrival of 10 Gloucester police officers. Approximately 45 minutes later, an additional 30 rapid response team members arrived, including negotiators and Special Weapons and Tactics team members from the North East Law Enforcement Council.

At first, Garron refused to speak to police, claiming they were not trustworthy, and slammed the door. Police managed to open a line of communication with him, first through a public address system and eventually obtaining his cellphone number, police Chief Leonard Campanello said.

The negotiators repeatedly told the man that they didn’t want to hurt him, “that everyone has a bad day,” and to just come out and talk.

Police tactics also included shining spotlights on the house shortly after arrival, and having National Grid cut the power around midnight. Shortly after, police shot tear gas into the windows, to try to force the man out of the home. The man soon came to the front door, brandishing a silver gun, and spoke to police for few minutes, sometimes yelling, before going back inside.

Police then shot some more gas into the home.

The man came out of the front door, holding a rag to his face and his gun to his head, a witness said.

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