'Quiet' Neighborhood 'Frightened' by Standoff

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Curious neighbors called it a scene from a movie.

Bomb squads, SWAT Teams and police cars descended on a Meridian Township apartment complex Wednesday afternoon and began a two-hour standoff with a man accused of robbing a pharmacy in Lansing Twp. and saying he had planted bombs around the building hours earlier.

"We didn't know what to believe or what was happening or if I should be leaving the scene or watching," said Katie Langolf who lives in the apartment complex. "I've never seen anything, not even a police officer patrolling for five over speed limits. It's out of the ordinary that's for sure."

An employee of the Mid-Michigan Physicians Building at 1540 Lake Lansing Rd. tells News 10 a regular customer -- described by police as a man in his early 60s with health problems -- entered and said he had a bomb strapped to him. He also told an employee that he had planted explosives around the building and had a detonator.

He then told the employee that he wanted everyone to leave so no one would get hurt.

The suspect drove to his Meridian Twp. apartment where police say he gave his car to his wife and told her to leave. Police pulled the car over and the wife led police back to the apartment. The suspect's wife is not in custody and is not believed to be tied to the robbery.

A two-hour standoff ensued, disturbing what residents call a quiet neighborhood.

"I run these trails everyday and didn't expect commotion to be happening because it's a pretty quiet town," said Langolf. "A lot of people chattering on the outside. We didn't know what to believe or what was happening or if I should be leaving the scene or watching."

It was a mixture of adrenaline and fear that brought Chet Summers and Jordan Stanton to the edge of the police perimeter. He says he lives two doors down from the suspect and described him as "weird" and "standoffish."

"I was like 'ok, I kinda want to see this but I'm kinda scared' because I've got a family and everything," said Summers. "I don't know what could have happened. It's that element of not knowing that's frightening."

That unknown is what had 15-year-old Cylus Hill frightened too. He looked out the window of his apartment to see the SWAT team.

"I locked all my doors and shut the curtains," he said, "and I just hoped that nothing would happen."

Hill was one of the people police moved to a safer area.

Police say the suspect was always cooperative and never made a threat toward anyone. The man surrendered peacefully shortly before 5 p.m. and was to be transferred to Lansing Twp. Police, said Meridian Twp. Lt. Greg Frenger.

"He finally decided to give up," he said. "He'd been pretty cooperative through the conversation, it was just a question of getting him to come out."

Police did not find any explosives or weapons near the suspect's apartment.


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