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SWAT team storms house after Somerville standoff

Suspect appeared to hold hostages

By Derek J. Anderson
Globe Correspondent / September 6, 2011

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SOMERVILLE - A SWAT team stormed an apartment last night when a man who police believed was holding three hostages refused to surrender, according to Deputy Chief Michael Cabral of the Somerville police.

The suspect, who had warrants out for his arrest, was recognized by an officer on patrol, Cabral said. The suspect, who was not identified, fought off the officer and fled to a first-floor apartment at 56 Broadway, his residence, the deputy chief said. The officer then called for assistance.

The man barricaded himself in the apartment with his roommates inside, Cabral said. The police at first believed the roommates to be hostages, he said. The suspect then threatened the officers and refused to open the door, he said.

“The suspect made threats against the officers to the level that we thought it was necessary to call in a SWAT team,’’ Cabral said.

With a megaphone blaring and neighborhood crowds gathering at the police tape, a SWAT team from the Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council responded to the scene and told the suspect to surrender. The man refused, but let his roommates leave the apartment building, Cabral said.

Barricading the front and back doors, the suspect continued to hole up in his apartment.

The SWAT team burst into the home and used a “flash bang bomb’’ to disorient the suspect, who was then subdued and arrested, Cabral said.

The suspect, bleeding from what police said were self-inflicted injuries not thought to be life-threatening, was taken Massachusetts General Hospital. No weapons were found on the suspect or in the residence, police said.

A neighbor who wished to remain anonymous said she was on the phone with her aunt when she saw police cars arriving.

“A short time after that police knocked on my door,’’ she said. The police told her that “there were people barricaded next door and they may have weapons.’’

She was evacuated from her home.

Globe correspondent Alexander C. Kaufman contributed to this report. Derek J. Anderson can be reached at derek.anderson@ globe.com.