Local News

April 23, 2014

Police: Four-hour standoff ends with peaceful surrender

A man who was armed with at least one firearm and believed to be under the influence of alcohol surrendered to police Tuesday night after barricading himself for four hours inside a carpet mill in downtown Dalton, officials said.

Police responded around 5:30 p.m. after someone called 911 reporting that Brent Pickard, 45, of Ooltewah, Tenn., had gone inside Eligere Carpet at 1029 S. Hamilton St., where he works, and that he was armed with a firearm, Dalton Police Department spokesman Bruce Frazier said. Information about the type of firearm was not available.

“Early indications are the subject had some sort of an argument with his wife,” Frazier said. She also works at Eligere, he said.

Frazier said he couldn’t provide specifics, but witnesses said Pickard appeared agitated when he entered the building and that he “barricaded” himself inside his office. After he surrendered around 9:30 p.m., officers took Pickard to Hamilton Medical Center for an evaluation “for his own safety,” Frazier said. It isn’t believed he made any threats.

Officers from the Dalton Police Department, Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia State Patrol and state probation surrounded the two-story brick building with rifles trained at the structure, and blocked off the 1000 block of South Hamilton Street to traffic as investigators worked to negotiate with Pickard, Frazier said. The Whitfield County Mobile Command Unit set up just outside the building to provide enhanced communications.

Police quickly cleared the building and accounted for the few employees who were there when Pickard came inside.

“There was never a hostage situation inside the building,” Frazier said.

“Contact was made with Pickard by phone within the first hour,” he said. “He initially refused to come out to speak with investigators. After meeting with his attorney and Dalton detectives inside, he agreed to leave and be transported by ambulance to Hamilton Medical Center.”

Around 8 p.m., Dalton attorney Marcus Morris arrived on scene and went inside the building. Efforts to reach him Tuesday night after the standoff were unsuccessful.

Frazier couldn’t immediately say whether Pickard is part of the management at Eligere. Two men on the scene who said they were affiliated with the company declined to comment.

“The incident is still being investigated and charges may be filed at a later date,” Frazier said.

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