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Man arrested following standoff in Cayuga County

A standoff in the Cayuga County town of Fleming has ended with an arrest, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Police activity at a standoff in Cayuga County
Police activity at a standoff in Cayuga County
Fleming (WSYR-TV) - A standoff in the town of Fleming has ended with an arrest, according to the Cayuga County Sheriff's Office.

Just after 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, deputies responded to a 911 call involving a man who may be suicidal and in possession of firearms.  They were sent to a home at 5662 Poplar Cove, where 51-year-old Brian Thompson was standing outside.

"There was verbal communication with Mr. Thompson who did have a weapon and a weapon was discharged. Our deputies and troopers moved back and called for assistance," said Cayuga County Sheriff David Gould.

Gould said Thompson had fired one round from a shotgun before walking back into the home where he lives with his mother.  She was not home as deputies spent hours trying to convince Thompson to come out peacefully. 

The sheriff said Thompson did not point his weapon at deputies or neighbors, but people who live close to the scene were asked to evacuate their homes as a precaution.

"When you take a look in the eyes of authorities and they have this look in their eyes that they are in danger and they feel we're in danger, you say okay. No problem. We're gone," recalled Christopher Cook.

Cook was asleep at West Lake Mobile Home Park when he heard a gunshot.  Deputies say Thompson fired shots four times before he was arrested, both inside and outside of his home.

"We felt the pellets from the gunshot hit the truck that we were standing behind. Shortly after that, the sheriff's department came over and asked us to evacuate," said mobile home park resident Amilyn Grant.

The American Red Cross set up a shelter at Owasco Fire Department, serving the mobile home park residents with food while they waited for negotiations to end.

"I was worried about being able to get where I had to go without walking down that road because I didn't want to walk without somebody's help," said Arlene Cuyler. "I was afraid to walk down to the fire station with him being over there shooting like that."

According to Cayuga County Sheriff David Gould, Thompson had been arrested Wednesday for second-degree obstruction of governmental administration and was released from the Cayuga County Jail on Thursday.  Gould believes that may have triggered the standoff within hours of his release.  The sheriff would not say what Thompson had been arrested for prior to the standoff.  He had been charged with Obstructing Governmental Administration.

SWAT team members tried to communicate with Thompson via phone and a bull horn for several hours.  He walked outside throughout the evening, armed and unarmed.  Just after 8 p.m., Thompson came out of the home to talk with deputies and was hit with a "less-lethal" projectile that immobilized him long enough for SWAT team members to tackle him.

Thompson suffered minor injuries due to a fall after being hit with the non-lethal projectile. He was taken to the hospital and is expected to be arraigned on the following charges:
  • Menacing a Police Officer - Felony
  • Criminal Possession of a Weapon 3rd degree - Felony

An investigation continues. Additional charges are pending.

"Minor injuries to this gentleman and no injuries to anyone else. That is the best scenario you can come up with," said Sheriff Gould.

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