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Police end two-day standoff with suspect in Md.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

HANCOCK, Md. -- Police ended a two-day standoff with a burglary suspect holed up in a motel with his pregnant girlfriend, bursting into the room and grabbing the man after he was brought food Friday, authorities said.

James Prevatt III, 26, was captured around 7:30 at the one-story motel that officers had surrounded since Wednesday night, said Maj. Larry Suther of the Baltimore County Police Department. No one was injured when police ended the standoff, during which the suspect had threatened to kill officers and the woman.

After a robotic vehicle brought Prevatt a second delivery of food Friday, officers pushed their way through the room's front door and used an explosive device to blow open the back door.

"We sort of saw an opportunity," said Suther, whose department sent 10 SWAT team members who participated in the capture. "That was when he was most vulnerable."

Prevatt and the woman, identified as 21-year-old Renee Reynolds, were taken to an area hospital for checkups and were being questioned Friday night.

Joseph Michaels, deputy state's attorney for Washington County, said charges against Prevatt would be filed later Friday. He was also wanted in three other states.

During negotiations that stretched over 45 hours, Prevatt threatened to detonate bombs in his room, said Maryland State Police spokesman Greg Shipley.

"He talked about people being blown to so many pieces that the CIA would have to put them back together," Shipley said. Officers didn't immediately find guns or explosives in the room.

The western Maryland motel was evacuated and dozens of law enforcement vehicles from local agencies, Maryland State Police and the FBI lined the nearby road Friday.

Police had used a robotic vehicle to send pizza and soda Thursday evening. But Prevatt threatened to shoot the robot and did not retrieve the food, Shipley said.

On Friday, the robot was able to successfully deliver hamburgers and soda and then, in a separate trip, cigarettes.

Shipley said Prevatt had slept for short periods but had been awake for most of the standoff.

Prevatt was wanted in Maryland, South Carolina, Massachusetts and Virginia on burglary and larceny charges, Shipley said.

The standoff at the America's Best Value Inn on U.S. 522 had stranded some other guests because their luggage and vehicles were inside the police line and couldn't be removed.

Troopers and deputies evacuated 12 occupied rooms of the 20-room motel at the start of the standoff that began when officers came to arrest Prevatt around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Ohio travelers Doug Collin, of Kirtland, and Mary Lou Bender, of South Euclid, were finally able to continue their trip to visit her son in Tilghman Island, Md., after police retrieved their car and bags around 1:30 p.m. Friday.

"We just want to get our belongings and our car and get out of here," Collin said.


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