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SWAT situation ends at East Central motel

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — It took about six hours, but a man having some kind of mental “crisis” and allegedly armed with a handgun, was taken into custody Sunday after barricading himself in his room at an east Central Avenue motel.

The standoff caused Albuquerque Police to evacuate the motel and shut down Central Avenue from San Pedro east to Louisiana.

The man was in regular communications with 911 dispatchers, and told them people were outside his motel room trying to kill him. The dispatchers apparently had trouble convincing the man that the people outside his  room were police crisis intervention officers who were trying to help him.

APD spokesman Simon Drobik said the man himself called police about 1 p.m. saying that people outside his motel room were trying to kill him. An officer who initially responded said he encountered the man holding what appeared to be a handgun. When the man failed to put the gun down, the situation escalated, Drobik said.

Officers from APD’s Crisis Negotiation Team were called in,  as well as backup officers from the SWAT, K-9 and bomb squads. An officer on a loudspeaker could be heard calling out the man’s name, “Steven,” and trying to coax him out of his first floor room at the Luxury Inn on the 6700 Block of Central SE. At least one flash-bang grenade was set off, but  to no avail.

Drobik said the man’s mother was contacted by APD, and they learned he had some mental issues and had been off his medication for a long time.

The circumstances surrounding how he was eventually taken into custody about 7 p.m. were not released, nor was the man’s name.

Drobik said the man was transported to the hospital for a mental evaluation, but would subsequently be booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center on an outstanding warrant for felony criminal damage.