Police Standoff at 903 Spring Garden
Easton police draw guns to respond to suspicious activity at a row house on Spring Garden Tuesday.
Armed with shotguns and assault rifles, Easton police spent nearly five hours Tuesday afternoon engaged in a standoff in a West Ward neighborhood.
According to a statement issued by Capt. Scott Casterline late Tuesday afternoon, the incident began around 10:44 a.m. when a someone called police whispering that there were men with guns inside 903 Spring Garden Street.
Soon after arriving, police found a woman waiting in a car outside the home, and caught four men trying to escape, Casterline said.
The statement said these men told officers they'd come from New York City to visit a family member in Easton, a relative who had apparently left just before police arrived.
The men told police that a fifth man, named Kevin Scott, was inside. Police say Scott is wanted in Elmira, NY on weapons and assault charges.
A fifth person surrendered to police around 1:15 p.m., but it was unclear whether this man was Scott.
For the next two hours, police announced over a bullhorn that they had a search warrant for the building and asked anyone inside to come out.
Eventually, police went into the building with a search warrant. No one else was inside, Casterline said.
A group of officers waited on the front porch of a nearby home, armed with rifles and a shield. Another officer kept a rifle trained on the building from a lookout hatch on an armored van.
Dozens of residents gathered along Spring Garden and Bushkill streets to watch the incident unfold. Neighbors said the people at 903 Spring Garden were recent arrivals to the block. One woman said she'd heard gunfire in the neighborhood early Tuesday.
After Casterline e-mailed his statement to local news outlets, Mayor Sal Panto responded with this message: "Great job on preventing a bigger problem. Maybe they will get the Message and stay in NY."