COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) -The suspect in Tuesday’s barricaded gunman hostage incident north of Coldwater that ended in his surrender without injuries following a 3-hour standoff is expected to be arraigned today in Branch County District Court. And while Branch County Sheriff John Pollack is grateful no one was hurt yesterday, he used the occasion to rip into County Commissioners for their budget reductions and road patrol layoffs which the Sheriff said caused his department to be embarrassed for being unable to adequately respond to the events that unfolded on Tuesday.
Pollack said charges of kidnapping, fleeing and eluding and felony firearm would be brought against the suspect in Branch County before he’s turned back over to Indiana authorities in Steuben County, where he would likely first face prosecution for allegedly robbing a CVS pharmacy in Angola yesterday morning. A police pursuit following the armed holdup led officers into Michigan where the suspect pulled off I-69 at the Jonesville Road exit. That’s where the Lion’s Den Adult Entertainment Store is located and where the suspect held the female clerk at gunpoint beginning around 10 a.m. yesterday. One customer in the business at the time was allowed to escape out the rear of the store.
The suspect was in communication during most the incident with a Branch County 911 dispatcher who was eventually able to convince him to release the woman and turn himself over to the Michigan State Police Swat Team that had taken command of the standoff.