Standoff ends without violence

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 25, 2003

After a three-hour standoff with law enforcement officers, a Brundidge man was taken into custody shortly after noon on Thursday.

Brundidge Police Chief Moses Davenport said around 12:15 p.m., Dexter Harris, 22, put down the .25 automatic weapon that he had been brandishing for several days and was apprehended by officers from the Brundidge Police Department and the Pike County Sheriff's Department at a residence on 7th Ave. in Brundidge.

"At no time did he threaten to hurt anyone except himself," Davenport said. "Every time a law enforcement officer made a move toward him, he would put the gut up to his head or his chest. We decided that it was best to stay back and not confront him and that maybe he would calm down."

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Davenport said Harris had been exhibiting disturbed behavior since early in the week.

"Harris had called 911 and East Central Mental Health," Davenport said. East Central Mental Health recommended that his family take him to the emergency room at South Alabama Medical Center but he wouldn't go. I had tried to talk to him several times myself."

Davenport said somehow Harris acquired a handgun and began to threaten to take his life.

"I tried to talk him into giving me the gun, but he kept saying that everybody was against him and that nobody would listen to him," Davenport said. "He wouldn't give up the gun."

Around 9:30 Thursday morning, the situation had escalated. Harris was in his grandfather's yard at 301 Barr Street, threatening to hurt himself and a crowd had gathered, Davenport said.

Davenport said attempts to calm Harris failed and he walked away from his grandfather's house with a cousin who continued to try to reason with him.

"They walked across to an aunt's mobile home on 7th Avenue and went inside," the police chief said. "We decided not to try to talk to him anymore - to wait him out."

Relatives were inside with Harris and, when he laid the gun on a chair, his cousin grabbed the weapon and ran outside with it, Davenport said.

Late Thursday afternoon Harris was being evaluated and the matter was before the probate court. Charges against him are pending.