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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Police standoff ends peacefully

Monday, September 25, 2006

Photos (in order):

- File photo

Clay County Sheriff's Deputy Jon Lambert sits in a police cruiser, trying out computer equipment while another officer looks on in 2003.

- Ivy Herron photos

Indiana State Police troopers at the intersection of C.R. 550 East and U.S. 40 was blocked to traffic until the 14-hour standoff ended after midnight Saturday morning.

- On Sunday, the windows of Clay County Sheriff's Deputy Jonathan Lambert's home were boarded up after a 14-hour standoff with law enforcement.

- Tactical units shot the tires of several vehicles parked around Clay County Sheriff's Deputy Jonathan Lambert's home during the 14-hour standoff to ensure he couldn't leave.



A sheriff's deputy arrested early Saturday morning after a 14-hour standoff with law enforcement will face several criminal charges when he appears in Clay Circuit Court - starting with charges stemming from his alleged involvement in a domestic disturbance shortly after midnight Friday.

When officers of the Clay County Sheriff's Department responded to a 911 call around 12:30 a.m. reporting a domestic disturbance at a home located at 6764 W. U.S. 40, they found one of their own department members, Jonathan Lambert, 34, of Brazil, involved. A source close to the investigation confirmed Lambert faces preliminary charges of criminal confinement, intimidation, domestic battery and criminal recklessness stemming from this incident on Friday.

Further charging information is not available because the case reports from later events have not been reviewed due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.

The initial case was immediately turned over to the Indiana State Police, according to Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton late Sunday evening.

"The investigation was turned over to ISP since the alleged incident involved an officer of this department.," Heaton said.

According to written statement by Heaton, it is standard operating procedure that any time there is a criminal complaint lodged against an officer, or the department, an outside agency investigates the charge to prevent of any conflict of interest that could compromise the integrity of the investigation.

"Just because we are law enforcement officers, does not mean we are above the law. Complaints will be investigated," Heaton said.

On Friday, Lambert refused to turn himself in to the Clay County Justice Center during the investigation into the domestic disturbance, his second refusal to comply with authorities trying to serve an arrest warrant at his home caused officials to establish a 2-mile perimeter around area at 6764 W. U.S. 40.

This was the beginning of the 14-hour standoff.

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.

Further details about the domestic disturbance case are not available. All court documents, including the arrest warrant and probable cause affidavit, were sealed by Clay Circuit Court Judge Robert Pell to protect the integrity of the investigation and case against Lambert.

No further information about Lambert's alleged criminal charges will be available until released by the court after his preliminary arraignment.

"This case is still in the review process," said Prosecutor Lee Reberger, who anticipates Lambert to appear in Clay Circuit Court sometime Monday. "The arraignment will be after the case reports from all responding agencies have been reviewed and any additional charges are filed. Then we will need to secure transport to court from Parke County."

Lambert was immediately taken to the Parke County Jail after his arrest to ensure no conflict of interest and his safety while incarcerated.

"We are very grateful this incident came to a peaceful resolution," Reberger said. "It took a huge amount of cooperation from departments and agencies from around the state to work this case."

More than 60 law enforcement officers from Vigo County and Putnam County sheriff's departments, Indiana Conservation Officers, Brazil City and Greencastle police departments ensured the safety of residents in the area and motorists on U.S. 40 and S.R. 340 while the roads were closed.

Members of the DePauw University Police, the Indiana State Police Emergency Response Team, Indianapolis SWAT team, the U.S. Marshall's Service and other tactical units negotiated with Lambert, who has tactical training, by phone and performed various tactical diversions throughout the 14-hour standoff to coax the deputy safely out of his home.

"From members of the negotiating team to the numerous officers that worked traffic - they knew it was a police officer we were going after, someone we knew - there was a job to do and they did it," Heaton said about the officers "dedication and professionalism" that helped bring Lambert safely out of a tense and potentially hostile situation. "Deputy Lambert was a good police officer, it's just that some intense issues in his personal life clouded his judgment."

The case is still under investigation by the Indiana State Police.

Editor Frank Phillips contributed to this report.

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