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April 28, 2014

Woman ‘very hysterical’ before standoff

The woman burst into a nearby business, hysterical, asking for help, saying her husband had a rifle.

That’s according to one of the individuals who saw her and called 911, asking for police to come immediately. The caller said he hadn’t seen the rifle but was concerned because of the woman’s earnestness.

“She was very hysterical and said he’s got a gun,” the caller told an emergency operator a little before 5:30 p.m. on April 22.

Dalton police arrived within minutes. The result was a four-hour standoff with multiple law enforcement agencies surrounding the Eligere Carpets building at 1029 S. Hamilton St. while the man barricaded himself inside his office, officials said.

The incident ended with Eligere Carpets president Brent Pickard, 45, of Ooltewah, Tenn., being taken by ambulance to Hamilton Medical Center for an evaluation. He remained there several days but as of Monday was no longer listed as a patient. Because of federal privacy laws, police declined to discuss what he was being evaluated for.

A woman who answered the phone at the carpet company on Monday declined to comment. A message left for Pickard wasn’t immediately returned.

Dalton Police Department spokesman Bruce Frazier has said Pickard was intoxicated and armed during the standoff in which he barricaded himself in an office following an argument with his wife as responders tried to get him to surrender peacefully.

Frazier declined to discuss the nature of the argument. Pickard isn’t believed to have threatened anyone inside the building, and Frazier said Pickard didn’t face any charges as of Monday afternoon.

“Our work on the case continues, and we don’t really have an update to provide at this time,” Frazier said.

The 911 caller declined to speak on the record to a reporter except to say he was upset with the way the standoff was handled. He said he didn’t want to get further involved in the incident since learning information he didn’t know before calling police.

He said he was surprised law enforcement officers — which included the Dalton Police Department, Georgia State Patrol, state probation officers and the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office — didn’t simply make Pickard come out of his office rather than trying for four hours to negotiate with him before he finally agreed to leave in an ambulance after consulting with his attorney. The attorney, Marcus Morris, hasn’t returned several calls.

Frazier said police wanted the situation to end peacefully and didn’t force Pickard to come out immediately because there was no pressing reason to do so.

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