SWAT standoff with wanted felon ends with tear gas, arrest, after 8 hours, 80 police personnel

Going in with guns blazing has become oh so painfully passé.

Tear gas file photo/Thinkstock

For the second time this month, the Tucson Police Department spent a lot of manpower and time to end an extended standoff with a barricaded suspect, according to a news release from the Tucson Police Department.

This time the standoff lasted more than 8 hours, required two less lethal forms of weaponry and involved up to 80 police patrol, SWAT, hostage negotiation and investigative personnel.

The suspect, Alexander Robert Ramsey, 31, also went beyond the “barricaded suspect” description. He doubled as a convicted felon, former prison inmate and guy with an outstanding felony warrant out for his arrest for violation of conditions of release related to a March armed robbery and aggravated assault in Pima County.

Ramsey, of Tucson, had been released from prison and placed on supervised release in 2006, according to the Arizona Department of Corrections website, after serving part of his 10 year sentence for a 1997 armed robbery.

His Oct. 22 arrest, after an all-night standoff, brought a slew of new felony charges, including domestic violence/kidnapping and unlawful use of a means for transportation.

Evidently prison did not do much to rehabilitate the fellow.

Alexander Robert Ramsey/TPD photo

A 911 call came in from a woman on a pay phone around 10:50 p.m. Oct. 21 reporting her friend was being held against her will by Ramsey, her friend’s estranged boyfriend.

Police were at the pay phone’s location, at East Fifth Street and North Alvernon Way, “in approximately two minutes,” to find the action was a few blocks down. The kidnap victim was outside and Ramsey barricaded inside a home in the 4000 block of East Fifth Street, west of North Euclid Avenue.

Patrol officers surrounded the house and tried to contact Ramsey. Here’s where they learned about the outstanding felony warrant.

Ramsey was not being very cooperative, so the initial 25 to 30 police on the scene called in the SWAT and Hostage Negotiations Unit (HNU).

Adjacent homes were evacuated “out of an abundance of caution.”

Hostage Negotiations tried to communicate with Ramsey from outside and even sent SWAT personnel and Tucson police K-9 inside over the next four hour stretch.

They deducted Ramsey was hiding in the attic. They also deducted, after four hours, he wasn’t budging.

“Flash-bang devices” came next and, although these shrapnel-free grenade-like weapons produce a blinding flash and blaring bang meant to disorient the suspect, Ramsey still stayed put.

Tear gas to the rescue.

Ramsey finally spoke up after about 40 minutes of the tear gas and SWAT personnel got him out of the attic and into custody “without further incident.” No weapons had been found inside the home.

Although Ramsey was not injured, he was taken to a local hospital “as a precaution related to his lengthy confinement within the attic as well as the exposure to the irritating effects of the tear gas.”

He was treated, released and booked into Pima County Jail.

“Ultimately, the responding personnel worked together to achieve the Department’s goal of bringing this dynamic incident to a peaceful resolution with a minimum risk of injury to all involved,” the release said.

Excellent job to Tucson police for handling the situation sans unwarranted violence and following protocol.

But we also wonder if protocol should have exceptions and kid gloves ever discarded.


What do you think?

Should ever single “barricaded suspect” be treated the same or should past offenses call for more aggressive action?

Should the kid gloves ever come off?


About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at ryngargulinski.com.
This entry was posted in Crime, danger, gross stuff, Heroes, life, Police/fire/law and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to SWAT standoff with wanted felon ends with tear gas, arrest, after 8 hours, 80 police personnel

  1. Alan in Kent WA says:

     Everything worked out, so it was a gradual stepped response that they did.  No one was killed, so all is good.  A large response, but there is a securing the perimeter.  The call that cops find the most dangerous are domestic calls as they can be volatile.  A felon in a domestic call calls for extra caution.  What is this with all of the mug shots making the prisoner look like a Buddist Monk? 

    • Rynski says:

      hey alan in kent wa –
      yes, it’s good no one died – but i also wonder if a sales tax increaes, albeit ‘temporary’ would need to be on the ballot if convicted felons and the like perhaps had a cheaper means of being arrested?
      as for the monk look, perhaps he did decide to reform after all, even if the earlier prison stint didn’t seem to take?
      finally…..kent, wash.,  came up in the book i’m currently reading – i felt so connected!

      • leftfield says:

        You’re funny, Ryn.  “Kid Gloves”?  Then the anger about how the cheaper way (presumably using high-velocity projectiles) would have changed the entire economic picture in Arizona.  You managed to cover two of the required conservative bedrock issues: higher taxes and “coddling” criminals. 

      • Rynski says:

        ha! i was waiting for someone to call me on ‘kid gloves’ – hahahhaha.
        so glad i could cover lots of ground with this one. but don’t i get extra points for also slipping in the futility of prison as rehab? hahahhahahah.

      • leftfield says:

        I must have missed that one, Ryn. OK – you get ten extra points for that. Fifty more points and you get an autographed picture of Karl Rove.

  2. Oakland says:

    I guess since no one was hurt it was OK. It does seem a bit excessivetho, 80 personnel is a lot, I guess not knowing what you are walking into takes every precaution, even tho it usually only takes one bullet to take some one down if that’swhat it comes to. I cant imagine the guy walking away after getting shot 80 different times.

    • Rynski says:

      hiya oakland,
      thanks for input. i’ll have to agree with the better safe than shot at mindset – you’re right – scary situation not knowing what a barricaded guy will do – or what kind of weapons et al he could have hiding in the attic with him.

  3. recov_progressive says:

    Call out the snipers!

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