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Bomb squad on scene of police standoff

Friday, September 22, 2006

By IVY HERRON

missivy1964@yahoo.com

The name of a Clay County Sheriff's deputy is being withheld, while an Indiana State Police SWAT team and deputies from Clay and Putnam counties wait outside his home, trying to talk him into surrendering peacefully.

Around 9 p.m., Friday, two Indiana State Police tactical bomb squad units arrived on the scene. The reason for their appearance was not immediately explained, however rumors of explosives in the house circulated through the community.

Fifty or more police officers arrived Friday to assist with traffic control and in other ways, including officers from Brazil, Vigo County and Indianapolis.

Friday night, Indiana State Police Public Information Officer Joe Watts said he did not expect the situation to end until sometime Saturday. Meanwhile, officers began lighting the house with high-powered floodlights.

"We have a situation" involving a deputy, Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton told The Brazil Times at 3:30 p.m. Friday.

The incident began at 10:30 a.m. Friday when officers from the Indiana State Police and Clay County Sheriff's departments attempted to serve a warrant on the deputy at his home.

The nature of the warrant has not been released and all court documents connected to the case have been sealed by Clay Circuit Judge Robert Pell, Watts said.

About 11:22 a.m., police closed U.S. 40 near C.R. 650W in Clay County.

Residents who wished to leave their homes were allowed to do so, however, they will not be allowed to return until the incident is resolved, said Joe Watts.

Around 2 p.m., the deputy under surveillance left the house and fired a shot into the air. He then returned to the house and fired a second shot. He was not apparently aiming at anything in particular and no one was injured and no property was damaged.

Vehicles in the area are being detoured on C.R. 900W or C.R. 600S.

The Brazil Times was told that at least one trucking company was asked to avoid the area and find an alternate route.

Students at Staunton Elementary and North Clay Middle schools were not allowed to ride the bus home Friday. They were kept at school until their parents could pick them up, said Chris McVay, a Clay Community Schools transportation department employee.

The Brazil Times Editor Frank Phillips contributed to this report.



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