A man armed with a 9 mm pistol and a shotgun at 524 E. Bertsch St., Lansford, allegedly kept his girlfriend captive for hours and held police at bay from about midnight Sunday until about 7:25 this morning.
Jefferey Allan Gangaware, 51, whose address was given as 226 W. Howard Ave., Coaldale, was charged with aggravated and simple assault with weapons involved; and unlawful restraint, said Police Chief John Turcmanovich.
He was arraigned before District Judge Casimir Kosciolek of Lansford, and jailed under $100,000 cash bail.
The situation began unfolding just before midnight Sunday.
Turcmanovich said Gangaware had been drinking and began arguing with his girlfriend. She wanted to leave, but he wouldn't let her go, said the police chief.
The girlfriend called the Carbon County Communications Center at about 11:40 p.m. Lansford police officers Jeffrey Ohl and Amie Barclay responded, and could hear a woman screaming from inside the house.
Ohl kicked in the front door, which had been blocked by a sofa. The officers drew their service weapons and entered into the dining room.
Police said a man yelled from upstairs, "Oh, great. Now the (expletive) cops are here!"
The officers began checking the first floor of the house when they heard the man again.
"Don't come up the steps. I have a gun," he yelled.
They could hear the woman, now outside. They left the house. As police came around the corner in the front of the house, they saw the woman, who came running toward them. They told her to go away from the house.
She told them Gangaware had several guns, the pistol and shotgun downstairs, and other guns with him upstairs. She said she believed Gangaware had a bulletproof vest, AR-15 and AK-47 assault weapons, and a gas mask.
She told Barclay that he had all the doors in the house barricaded, and that Gangaware had tied the bedroom door to the staircase with rope so she couldn't escape. Gangaware, the woman said, took her cell phone and disconnected the landline.
The woman told police she had been held since 7:40 p.m.
She told Barclay that Gangaware told her to shoot him because he "no longer wanted to live separate lives."
Police tried to contact Gangaware, but he would only speak with the woman. He threatened to "empty a clip into them" if police tried to enter the house. Gangaware said he was in the attic, and that the stairway was barricaded.
Gangaware also said the "cops are going to have to shoot me in the head."
As police negotiated with the man, the Carbon County Emergency Management Agency barricaded streets around the home and told neighbors to stay inside.
Turcmanovich said Lansford Det./Sgt. Jack Soberick, who coordinated the response team, had the situation "in hand and under control."
Soberick talked with Gangaware, who remained adamant he was not coming out peacefully.
A decision was made to call in state police.
"He said he was coming out the hard way," Turcmanovich said.
Gangaware asked for Turcmanovich, who said he has known him since Gangaware was a child.
"I know you're going to take me to jail. I'm not going," Turcmanovich quoted Gangaware as saying.
"State police negotiators talked him out," Turcmanovich said. "He knew what he did would get him locked up."
Gangaware has no criminal history.
"This was totally out of character for him," Turcmanovich said.
According to Carbon County court records, Gangaware bought the Lansford house about a year ago.