Police: Man aims at cops

PHILIP A. HOLMES/Sun-Gazette City police survey the scene during what would become a 12-hour standoff with an armed man threatening police lives.

City police were in the threatening aim of a city man from dawn until dark Saturday, city police said.

“I’m gonna shoot you cops! I’m gonna shoot you pigs! I’ve got you all in my scope. I had every one of you cops’ heads!”

The terroristic threats were allegedly made by Evan Justin Chapman, 46, of 1516 1/2 Light St., according to an affidavit by Williamsport Bureau of Police Agent Fred L. Miller IV.

The domestic incident began with a call at 7:11 a.m., sending city police units rushing to a report of a disturbance involving a gun at the Light Street residence.

Patrolmen Zachary Geary, Thaddeus Trafford, Michael Corter, Patrolwoman Laura Miller, Pennsylvania College of Technology Police Officer Jeff Kriner and South Williamsport Police Department Officer Jake Summer responded.

Police then allegedly observed Chapman open an attic window of the residence, point a rifle with an affixed scope toward the officer and begin yelling the aforementioned threats.

As they saw Chapman with the firearm, the officers immediately backed away and sought safe cover, Agent Fred Miller said.

A few moments later, Chapman came to the porch of the residence while shouting for officers to “shoot me,” police stated.

Police tried to deploy a Taser on Chapman and did deploy a 40 mm less lethal stun round while issuing numerous commands for Chapman to drop his weapon and come outside. He refused to comply, police said.

Due to Chapman’s action and the danger he imposed to himself and the community, officers quickly created a large perimeter and activated both the Lycoming County Special Response Team Tactical Response and the Lycoming County Hostage Rescue Team, police said.

All streets in the area were shut down and nearby residents were ordered to remain inside their houses due to the danger of being struck by rifle fire, Miller said.

While on the scene officers also made contact with Jeanne Kehler, who resides at the residence with Chapman, Miller said.

Kehler told police that Chapman was heavily intoxicated and had been consuming both vodka and beer.

Kehler said that early in the morning she went to the bedroom to go to sleep, leaving Chapman in the living room by himself, Miller said.

Kehler told police that Chapman began arguing back and forth, after which Chapman came into the room, grabbed her by the neck and began strangling her, police alleged.

Kehler said that after 10 to 15 minutes, Chapman stopped strangling her by the neck, allowing her the opportunity to grab a few minor items and flee to the downstairs apartment, where her father, John Ohnmeiss, resides.

Kehler told police that not long after gaining entry to the apartment she heard a gunshot from upstairs, causing her to call 911 for assistance.

At his arraignment at 9:30 p.m. before District Judge Christian D. Frey, appeared calm after being escorted into court by Agent Fred Miller and Agent Jason Bolt.

Chapman told Frey he lived at the residence for two years and before that lived at 1512 Light St. for a year.

He told the judge he had no family living in Lycoming County and was not on probation or parole.

Chapman said he could not recall any prior arrests other than a driving under the influence of intoxicants charge.

However, Agent Fred Miller said Chapman’s criminal history includes simple assault and escape offenses.

Frey asked Agent Fred Miller what he thought bail should be.

“Given the totality of the circumstance and events of the night, and an escape in his past, I would ask you for good bail,” Agent Fred Miller said.

“You are a threat to the safety of the community and a flight threat,” Frey said. “I’m going to deny bail,” Frey said, a rare decision that typically comes with open counts of homicide, he added to a reporter.

Arraigned on 25 various counts and charges of strangulation, aggravated assault (felony and misdemeanor counts), making terrorist threats, discharging a firearm into a structure, simple assault, reckless endangerment, possessing instrument of crime, Chapman was escorted to Lycoming County Prison under no bail.

A preliminary hearing has been tentatively scheduled for Dec. 26, with a time to be determined.