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Police Make Arrest in Edinburgh Standoff

This is the press at the top of the hill. You’ll note that it hasn’t exactly been an exhilarating experience for them. (Check the dude on the left.)*

UPDATE: Police arrested a man wanted on a felony warrant four doors down from me on Edinburgh Drive just a little after 10 a.m. today. He is in custody and shortly, I should be free to get some exercise. Nobody was hurt, but a lot of people are suffering from a severe case of boredom. There are no details on who the man is, but apparently the warrant for him was issued in Roanoke County, which drove him away in a county police car.)

The police standoff with an armed neighbor of mine being served a felony warrant continues this morning with little movement either way after a quiet night.

Police cars, including a monstrous-looking tactical vehicle, remain in place. The tactical vehicle moves occasionally, setting off the beep when it backs up, but that’s just about the only noise you can attribute to the police force, which remains mostly hidden. Occasionally, a group of heavily armored (and armed) SWAT-looking dudes walk by my house, but I think that’s mostly shift change.

The tactical vehicle is in the accused man’s front yard and moves occasionally, setting off a loud beeping noise.

The neighborhood is normally a loud one with lots of mowers, leaf blowers, string trimmers, and chain saws going full steam through the day and into the evening. This morning there’s some kind of loud work going on a couple of blocks away, so the drama being played out on Edinburgh Drive isn’t keeping people from doing what they do, working where they work.

Last night, as has been the habit between 9:30 and 11 for about the past 10 days, some of my neighbors illegally set off fireworks. The police didn’t seem concerned. Once when a group of very loud explosives went off, sounding like gunfire, I was pretty concerned. But when I went outside, the officers were stationary and didn’t even seem to hear the fireworks.

From what I’ve been able to gather from the loudspeaker on the tactical vehicle which occasionally demands that the suspect give himself up, his name is something like John Birch or Burch. The police aren’t releasing his name or his alleged offense. I was told by one of the young officers yesterday that he was armed with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and a shotgun and that he was considered dangerous.

Right now, it’s a waiting game and I’m waiting to be able to get outside the house (I’m shooting photos from my porches where I can see the accused’s house on one end and the police blockade on the other). I really need to get some exercise.

(*You might note that in the photos I have published, nobody–nobody at all–is wearing a mask.)

By admin

Dan Smith is an award-winning journalist in Roanoke, Va., and a member of the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame. He is an author, photographer, essayist, father and grandfather. Co-founder of Valley Business FRONT magazine and founder of the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference. On Advisory Board of New River Voice.

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