PLEASANT VALLEY – A 51-year-old man held police at bay for nearly an hour on Saturday afternoon after he barricaded himself in his mobile home. Dutchess County Sheriff Kirk Imperati was at the Hickory Hills Mobile Home Park scene and told Mid-Hudson News that the crisis training his deputies receive resulted in a peaceful end to the standoff.
Just before 1:30 p.m. on July 23 the Pleasant Valley Fire Department ambulance responded to a mobile home at 70 Elm Street for a medical situation. When they arrived on the scene they were met by what they said was an emotionally disturbed man and requested police assistance.
Deputies from the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office responded and attempted to de-escalate the situation. While doing so, the subject, identified as Spencer Burrell, displayed a machete. The deputies quickly disarmed him but during the process, Burrell then gained possession of an Airsoft pistol, which was also taken from him. Burrell was known to have several weapons in the residence, and the first responders exited the residence.
After the deputies and ambulance personnel exited, Burrell then barricaded himself in the trailer, resulting in a standoff that caused additional deputies, Hyde Park Police, and New York State Police to respond to the trailer park and surround the residence.
While law enforcement attempted to negotiate with Burrell, his female companion who had left the residence, was evaluated by EMS personnel at the scene.
A sheriff’s detective from the UAV (drone) unit deployed a drone to give the incident commander a real-time overview of the home and the surroundings.
Crisis negotiators convinced Burrell to surrender without incident around 2:30 p.m. after an hour-long standoff.
“This is why all of our officers receive de-escalation and crisis intervention training,” Imperati said. “Without the vital training, this situation could have had a very bad outcome. In the end, the subject will undergo medical and psychological evaluation at the hospital and every officer that responded will go home to their families.”
Imperati credited the professionalism and coordinated efforts of the Pleasant Valley Fire Department personnel and all involved police agencies for averting what he called a “potentially deadly situation.”
Charges are pending against Burrell according to Sheriff Imperati.
Video of sheriff’s drone being deployed and an overview of the scene: