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THORNTON MAN SURRENDERS FOLLOWING LENGTHY STANDOFF

Rocky Mountain News (CO) – Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Author/Byline: Felix Doligosa Jr. And Clayton Woullard , Rocky Mountain News
Edition: Final
Section: News
Page: 13A
 
A man who barricaded himself in his home after an alleged domestic-violence incident surrendered to police Monday night after a nearly 27-hour standoff.

Gregory Scott Tagaris, 43, was taken into custody by Thornton police Monday after police fired tear gas into the house. He surrendered without incident shortly after 8 p.m. Thornton police spokesman Matt Barnes said a SWAT team used the gas after negotiations reached a standstill.

He was arrested on suspicion of felony menacing and assault. Police believe Tagaris may have been using methamphetamines.

Tagaris barricaded himself in his home at 10923 Elm Drive in Thornton on Sunday evening after authorities received a call from a woman reporting an assault by Tagaris about 6 p.m. She called police after running to a neighbor’s house.

When police arrived, Tagaris barricaded himself in the home.

Police evacuated five houses on the block Sunday evening.

Kathy Thorsen and her family had just returned from a vacation when police evacuated their neighborhood.

“We had to stay with in-laws,” said Thorsen, who stood by as police surrounded Tagaris’ home Monday morning.

Neighbors were allowed back into their homes Monday, but were told to stay inside and lock their doors.

Late Sunday evening, Tagaris began hacking a hole in his roof with a saw and hatchet, according to -Barnes. He also said Tagaris stood on the roof and taunted police, at one point yelling, “Come and get me.”

Authorities did not make contact with the suspect until Monday evening, at which time negotiations began.

The suspect broke all the windows in the house except for the back sliding door, Barnes said. While Tagaris told police he was armed, police did not see any weapons.

A SWAT team arrived at the scene Sunday evening. The team departed at about 8 a.m. Monday after police determined the man was not a danger to others. Police continued to block off the street.

The SWAT team returned to the scene about 7 p.m. Monday and surrounded the house.

The last time Thornton dealt with a standoff that lasted more than 24 hours was in 1986, according to -Barnes. That incident on Hoyt Drive lasted five days.

“This can’t last five days,” Thorsen said Monday afternoon. “I’m having a slumber party for my daughter on Thursday. I’ll drag him out myself.”

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