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19-hour police standoff ends peacefully in Batavia

Howard Owens
The Batavian
The suspect is escorted out of his home on Liberty Street.

A 19-hour standoff between an armed man and police in Batavia has ended peacefully.

WBFO spoke with Howard Owens, publisher of The Batavian newspaper, for the latest early Tuesday morning. Owens was on scene overnight and just before 9 a.m. when the suspect was led out of his home by Det. Kevin Czora, who had worked into the evening to establish a relationship with the man who had barricaded himself in his second-floor apartment. After about 90 minutes of more conversation, the suspect slowly came out.

"Czora then coaxed him around the corner of the house and then walked him down the street, with the assistance of only one other officer, and into a waiting ambulance," Owens said. "The man was clearly fearful."

According to the first-floor resident of the two-family home, the incident started during a domestic fight between the suspect and his girlfriend. The downstairs neighbor called the police.

"They (the police) have been trying very hard not to kill the guy," Owens told WBFO. "It's obvious the guy doesn't want to die or he could have stormed out waving his weapon, which would give law enforcement cause to fire. And they don't want to kill him. In my 11 years covering Batavia, there has been only one fatality by police."

Owens said through the many hours of negotiation, police had tried tear gassing the suspect several times and turning off the heat and electric in his apartment. The suspect returned with shooting a pellet gun at police, shouting profanities and swiping his sword at a canine officer.