Monday, January 12, 2015

Police standoff with heavily armed man in Bristol Township ends peacefully

Posted: Saturday, January 3, 2015 

An 8-hour standoff with a heavily armed Bristol Township man who barricaded himself in his home with his 89-year-old frail mother and about 30 loaded weapons ended peacefully early Saturday morning, police said.

Bristol Township police along with Bucks County South and Central SWAT teams converged on the home on Ice Pond Road on Friday night after receiving reports that a 58-year-old man threatened to kill family members and neighbors if his mother died. Neighbors in the Indian Creek section received automated calls warning them to shelter in place during the standoff and authorities evacuated seven nearby homes, according to court records.
Family members came to Bristol Township police around 5:30 p.m. Friday to report increasingly threatening behavior exhibited by Lawrence Rouse, who lives with his mother who has dementia and reportedly is in need of hospice care, according to Acting Chief Ralph Johnson.


Lawrence Rouse
Rouse had become increasingly distant with his siblings, limiting their ability to check on their mother, Johnson said.
The family reported that Rouse told them when his mother dies, he is going to shoot a neighbor and kill family members as well, police said. The threats have grown increasingly worse over the past few weeks, and he has allegedly talked in detail about how he planned on killing everyone.
With the mother facing hospice care, and their observations of his increasing paranoia, family members feared Rouse may act on his threats if his mother died, adding that he has a large collection of guns in the house.
Investigating officers took a statement from family members and helped them obtain an involuntary mental health commitment. But when officers went to serve the commitment at the home around 9:30 p.m., there was no answer.
When police made contact with Rouse, he refused to come out and warned police he was “locked and loaded” if they forced their way in, court documents said.
The SWAT teams responded, secured the location, safely evacuated surrounding homes, made contact with Rouse and negotiations continued throughout the night, Johnson said.
Around 5:30 a.m. SWAT team members pulled Rouse through a window that was broken by police during the standoff and subdued him, court documents said. He was taken to a mental health center for treatment and was arrested after he was released.
Detectives searched the man’s home and seized approximately 30 loaded weapons from several gun safes.
District Judge Michael Burns arraigned Rouse Saturday afternoon on terroristic threats, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest charges and related offenses. Rouse was sent to Bucks County prison in lieu of 10 percent of $500,000 bail.
SWAT doctors and medics assisted Rouse’s mother, who was unharmed, before being transported to a hospital for further evaluation and treatment, police said.

Jo Ciavaglia: 215-949-4181; email: jciavaglia@calkins.com; Twitter: @jociavaglia

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