December 3, 2002
Irwin County children enjoyed a rare chance to frolic in some manufactured snow as part of the community's Christmas Parade and Celebration Tuesday evening.
They were unaware of what was unfolding just around the corner. 48-year old Gordon Ray Harbin, was taken into custody bringing to an end a relatively short hostage situation.
"Mr. Harbin was in the residence holding Mrs. White, against her will had the info that he was armed," investigator John David Anderson said.
Anderson and the rest of Irwin County and Ocilla law enforcement knew just how to handle Harbin, because they've seen this from him on more than one occasion. He broke into this home four years ago and held ex-girlfriend Shirley White hostage.
"We contacted Major Jack Woolard because he had a history of talking him out of situations like this," Anderson said.
In 1998 he fired a shot at police, Tuesday night he went quietly.
"He came to the house and he was able to get him to surrender without incident."
Just as Woolard also got him to do in September of this year, when Harbin led deputies on a chase through Tift County holding a gun to his head. Harbin is now on suicide watch at the Irwin County Jail.
Harbin was banned from Irwin County for five years after the first hostage standoff in 1998. He'll likely be charged with violating that court order and with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
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