Lowndes sheriff's office praises training after tense standoff

Lowndes sheriff's office praises training after tense standoff
Stryde Jones
Stryde Jones

LOWNDES CO., GA (WALB) - Lowndes County Sheriff's Office Lt. Stryde Jones said Friday he was glad situations like the tense, hours long standoff that happened on Wellman Place Thursday evening don't happen often, but he was also glad the sheriff's office was prepared for it.

While some may say the military style protective vehicles responded to the scene of a man entering a home on Wellman Place and barricading himself inside the bathroom around 4 p.m. Thursday was not necessary, Lt. Jones said it helped make the situation as safe as possible for everyone.

"One thing that we have to try to do," Lt. Jones emphasized, "is make sure that the safety of everyone involved, not only that person, but the safety of the citizens, the safety of our deputies, is taken into account."

Lt. Jones said the situation was tense, but it was not necessarily stressful, which helped deputies remain calm and ultimately minimize the amount of harm done. "Although it's a very tense situation, I can't say that it's extremely stressful because these are exactly the types of situations that we train for," said Lt. Jones.

After the incident was over around 7 p.m. Thursday, Lowndes County Sheriff's Office Lt. Joseph Dukes emphasized their reliance on their training to keep everyone safe, including sending a robot into the house first before law enforcement went in.

"We wound up using one of our robots to clear the house and try to make contact with him," Lt. Dukes explained.

Deputies were able to locate the man and then go in and quickly and safely make the arrest. "To get to the scene, recognize the situation quickly, and react such as they did, it was just a good part all around by everybody," said Lt. Jones.

And, that's exactly the response he hoped their training produces every time.

Investigators were still trying to figure out Friday why the man was going from home to home on Wellman Place trying to get in, claiming that he needed to hide from someone who was trying to shoot him. Investigators had not found any evidence Friday that anyone was actually chasing after the man or trying to harm him.

The man's name had not been released as of 3 p.m. Friday because he was still at the hospital undergoing a mental evaluation and had not officially been arrested or charged. Lt. Jones said the man could face charges of criminal trespassing, burglary, and charges related to damage he caused inside of the home in which he barricaded himself.

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