Wolf Township man convicted for state police standoff

A Lycoming County jury found a Wolf Township man guilty on Tuesday afternoon of 10 charges, including three felonies, stemming from a standoff with state police on July 28, 2012.

State police responded to a domestic disturbance call at 1342 Horn Hill Road around 9 p.m. on a Saturday. They found Robert Lyons, 46, standing on his porch with a Remington 12-gauge shotgun.

“Domestics are heated, volatile situations,” testified Trooper Adam Kirk, who was one of the first two state policemen on the scene. “He was very agitated, highly upset … When I lit him up with my flashlight was the only time he sighted along the barrel. He said ‘put out the light or I’m going to put it out for you.'”

Trooper Brett Myers was on the state police dispatch desk that evening. Lyons called him directly a few minutes after the initial call.

“He told me everything was OK and if I did send troopers there would be problems,” Myers said. “He called me back one more time and told me he was going to shoot out the lights.”

More police responded to the scene and formed a perimeter around the house over the course of the next hour.

“It was a hot, humid night and the fog was rolling in,” Cpl. Brad Eisenhower said. “I swung down with my .308 rifle to where I could see him coming out on the porch … if he raised a gun I was going to drop him – deadly force would have been justified.”

Responding officers testified they watched Lyons pull beers from his refrigerator and drink at his kitchen table. They heard him saying “I’m losing my mind” and “I’m not going to jail.”

No shots were fired before Lyons came out his front door around 11 p.m. and was taken into custody.

The jury found Lyons not guilty on three aggravated assault charges and guilty on seven misdemeanor counts and three felony counts of aggravated assault via putting officers in fear, charges for which the state will seek a sentence of six to 12 years jail time.

He will be sentenced on May 14.