Police patience helps diffuse tense standoff
by Mike Eldred
Mar 31, 2018 | 4321 views | 1 1 comments | 109 109 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A Dover Police cruiser waits outside the Grand Summit Hotel Monday.
A Dover Police cruiser waits outside the Grand Summit Hotel Monday.
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DOVER- A tense standoff at a local business was successfully defused Monday, thanks to the Dover Police Department’s patient handling of the situation.

Colin Newcomb, 35, of New Hartford, CT, was cited for disorderly conduct and ordered held until sober at the Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield following an incident that began Sunday night, March 25.

Dover Police officer Dave Hammack was called to Mount Snow’s Grand Summit Hotel for a report of a “disorderly subject” in the Grand Summit bar and lobby area. Hammack was accompanied by Wilmington Police Sergeant Matt Murano.

“They got things quieted down,” says Dover Police Chief Randy Johnson. “They learned that Newcomb was a military veteran, has some PTSD issues, and was there with his girlfriend. Things calmed down and he went to his room.”

Later that night, at around midnight, police were called to the Grand Summit for a commotion in the room, but by the time police arrived, it was quiet. Police were called again around 4:30 am Monday morning. This time, Johnson says, people in neighboring rooms called to complain that a man and woman were yelling at each other. Hammack and Dover Police officer Sam Morris responded to the complaints. When they got there, things were quiet again.

“This time they decided to stay for a while and make sure things stayed quiet, instead of knocking on the door and getting things riled up again,” Johnson says.

On Sunday evening, Newcomb had requested a wake-up call from Grand Summit staff at 8 am. In the meantime, Grand Summit management had decided to evict the couple before their scheduled checkout on Tuesday. The Grand Summit asked police to be on hand when the news was delivered. Dover Police officer Bill Manch and Wilmington Police officer Corey Briggs knocked on the door, and Newcomb’s girlfriend answered. “She said she’d be right there, and then that was it,” Johnson says. “She never came to the door. They knocked again, and there was nothing.”

Johnson says the officers knew what had happened the night before, and were uncertain about what might be happening in the room – whether there were weapons in the room, and whether Newcomb’s girlfriend was safe.

Johnson was called to the scene, and he made a decision to call in all of his officers. Johnson says he had a key to enter the room, but decided not use it. “I decided not to gain entry,” he says. “We weren’t sure what we were facing.”

Police evacuated nearby rooms, including rooms on the floor below.

Eventually, Dover Police Detective Becky Morris was able to get Newcomb to respond. “She got a dialogue started,” Johnson says. “At first, there was a lot of yelling and screaming by the guy.”

But police still hadn’t heard from Newcomb’s girlfriend. “Becky tried to get her to communicate, but she didn’t answer and we were unsure of her safety,” Johnson says.

Johnson called in the Vermont State Police Tactical Unit to have them ready in the event he decided they needed to break into the room. Deerfield Valley Rescue was also called out to stand by at the scene.

But Morris was finally able to make contact with the woman in the room. “So we realized both of them were safe,” Johnson says. “We still weren’t sure of the potential for something to happen, but at that time it was easy to make the decision to stand down.”

Morris continued her dialogue with the occupants of the room and, at about 10:30 am, the woman opened the door. “Becky got her out of there, and the rest of the officers made entry to secure the room, and Newcomb. He was taken into protective custody for his well-being.” Johnson says Newcomb did not resist being taken into custody. He was charged for the incident of disorderly conduct the previous evening. Johnson credits his officers for their efforts to avoid escalating the incident, and Morris in particular for her efforts. “During our interviews after the incident we learned that there were no domestic issues, and nobody was injured,” Johnson says.

By Tuesday, Newcomb had been released from custody and had left the area.
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Richard Schwarz
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March 31, 2018
Great job guys, that is how to do the job. Patience, patience and more patience.


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