Man surrenders following SWAT standoff

By Andy Jenks - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A Richmond man is in custody following a lengthy and, at times, tense standoff with police and the SWAT team.

27-year-old Matthew Walton appeared confused when he finally was escorted in handcuffs, to the back of a police van. For the previous two and a half hours (beginning about 10:30am), he was the subject of a full-blown SWAT team response, with officers surrounding his house at the corner of Moss Side, and Rex Avenues.

According to police, a woman left the house in the morning, following a fight, and said the man inside had a gun. So officers and the SWAT team responded with an arsenal that was, perhaps, a bit more intimidating.

"Bringing in these extra units, maybe it's an over abundance of caution, but it's the right way to handle a situation such as this," said Richmond Police spokesperson James Mercante.

Several tense moments went by, with guns pointed at the house, and a police negotiator, going in. Then, on came the loudspeaker.

Police played a message, over and over again, imploring the man to come out of the house, with his hands up. It was only after police broke through a window, that he eventually surrendered.

A crowd that -at times- became emotional, saw the standoff come to an end. An effort to gather their reaction was unsuccessful.

"Don't put us on the news, we gon' sue you all!" one of them said.

Later, a woman was overheard saying the suspect, had been asleep the whole time. Police could not confirm that, except to say that this apparent standoff came to a peaceful conclusion with no shots fired, and no injuries reported.

"It took some time. It's a cautious way to go about it. And eventually, the gentleman complied and came out," Mercante said.

Walton would eventually be charged with domestic assault and abduction of the woman who first called police. Police said he will also be charged with possession of a firearm by a felon. According to Circuit Court records, Walton pled guilty in 2001 to cocaine and trespassing charges.

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