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Man to be arraigned in chase and standoff



Published: Tue, August 23, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Police say they found a cache of rifles and handguns in Thomas Butcher's home.

By KANTELE FRANKO

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

HOWLAND -- The township man accused of leading police on a two-county chase early Sunday before barricading himself in his house will be arraigned today on charges of aggravated menacing and felony failure to comply with the orders of an officer, and will face charges in Campbell at a later date.

Thomas Butcher, 54, was arrested just before noon Sunday after a nine-hour standoff with police at his home at 1460 Stillwagon Road.

Butcher, who is being held in Trumbull County Jail, also will face two counts of felonious assault, two counts of pointing firearms, felony fleeing and eluding, improper handling of firearms in a motor vehicle and a minor traffic violation in Campbell.

How it started

Those charges stem from the beginning of Sunday's events, when Butcher arrived at a Tenth Street house in search of his former girlfriend and her boyfriend, reports show.

The woman told police that Butcher aimed a rifle at her boyfriend and threatened to kill him before she persuaded Butcher to put down the firearm.

When Campbell police arrived at the house just after midnight, Butcher refused to get out of his vehicle and sped away, beginning a chase from Campbell to Howland, reports say.

Officers from Liberty, Vienna, Warren, Youngstown and the Ohio State Highway Patrol assisted during the chase.

Butcher, whom police say was intoxicated, then barricaded himself in his home for nine hours.

Police and family members negotiated unsuccessfully with Butcher, who refused to surrender, as nearby residents were evacuated and the area was blocked off.

No one was injured and no hostages were taken.

Howland police apprehended Butcher shortly before noon when he tried to run from a house in the rear of his 29-acre property to a house at the front, Police Chief Paul Monroe said.

Butcher refused to say why he came out of the house, but he might have been trying to see what was going on because an OSHP helicopter was flying overhead, Monroe said.

After Butcher was apprehended, police executed a search warrant on the property and discovered that he had about 10 firearms, including an AK-47 assault rifle and other types of rifles and handguns, he said.

Because of the guns, Butcher might face additional charges, pending tests to learn if the rifles are fully automatic, Monroe said.




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