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Standoff involves dozens of officers, ends quietly



Published: Mon, August 22, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



HOWLAND -- A township man was taken into custody shortly before noon Sunday after what began as a two-county police chase turned into a nine-hour standoff with police at his residence.

Thomas Butcher, 54, was arrested at his home at 1460 Stillwagon Road on charges of felonious assault and failure to comply with the orders of a police officer. He was taken to Trumbull County Jail.

Before the arrest, more than 60 officers -- including the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Warren Police Department's K-9 unit and a SWAT team -- were at the scene. They negotiated with Butcher and used family members to talk to him, but he refused to surrender, police said.

For a while, the area near Butcher's home was blocked off.

Officers say Butcher was intoxicated and barricaded himself in his home early Sunday. A police report showed that he had an AK-47 assault rifle, and nearby residents were evacuated from their homes shortly after 2 a.m.

No one was injured, and Butcher took no hostages, police said.

According to the report, a chase started around 12:55 a.m. Sunday. It went north on Belmont Avenue, west on Warren-Sharon Road in Vienna past the Avalon Inn, east on East Market Street and south on Howland-Wilson Road to Stillwagon, where the standoff began.

Youngstown, Liberty and Vienna police assisted.




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