Wednesday, November 30, 2011
UPDATED AT 11/30/11, 1:46 P.M.
Police have arrested the two men in the Plaza Way standoff. Both were taken into custody shortly after 1 p.m. without incident. More details coming.
WALLA WALLA -- A standoff between more than 30 law enforcement officers and two known local gang members continued this morning in a trailer park at 1809 Plaza Way.
The standoff began Tuesday afternoon when Walla Walla police attempted to arrest Joseph Dejesus, 20, who is wanted by police in connection with a shooting Oct. 8. Dejesus and Skyler Glasby, 23, retreated into a mobile home unit at roughly 4 p.m. Tuesday, officials said.
Glasby is suspected of passing counterfeit currency in Walla Walla earlier this month, police said. Glasby has also been convicted of felony crimes in Columbia County, and was acquitted along with two others of sex crime against a 16-year-old girl in Columbia County in 2010.
Walla Walla Police Chief Chuck Fulton said this morning Dejesus and Glasby did not have any hostages, but they appeared to be armed.
"It's a waiting game," Fulton said. "There's no reason to charge the house and risk our lives and theirs."
Winter temperatures may aid police as the standoff drags on, according to Fulton.
"They're going to get cold, they're going to get tired," Fulton said. "Then they'll come out. And hopefully, no one gets hurt."
Police cut power and heat from the home, and Fulton said SWAT Team members had the mobile home surrounded, while police negotiators deployed a hostage throw phone in the residence. At midmorning, officers were attempting to communicate via bullhorn, too.
"We've been trying to communicate with them," Fulton said. "They haven't been cooperative."
An officer at the scene said a Benton County SWAT Team was expected to arrive today as well. Walla Walla County Sheriff John Turner said the new team will bring tear gas, adding another possible option for police.
Some residents of the mobile home park were not being allowed to return to their homes this morning, according to a press release. However, those residents who needed to leave for work were being carefully navigated past the barricaded unit.
Police escorted children to school along a railroad track at the far end of the mobile home park.
"Obviously we're trying to avoid exposing them to any potential danger," Fulton said.
Mark Higgins, spokesman for the Walla Walla School District, said police contacted school officials early this morning to coordinate getting kids to school.
"We worked closely with police. It went very smoothly for us," Higgins said. "We're working on contingencies for those students should this continue."
Fulton also said the ongoing standoff illustrates a troubling trend.
"We've having more and more high-risk callouts," Fulton said.Luke Hegdal can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8326.