Alton man holds police at bay for seven hours before giving up

Tuesday, July 9, 2002

ALTON, Ill. (AP) -- An East Alton man who held police at bay for seven hours was charged Tuesday with unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon, officials said.

David Gargac was being held in the Madison County Jail on $50,000 bond, said Stephanee Smith, a spokeswoman for State's Attorney William Haine.

Gargac, 39, who had eluded police last week after a shooting in Granite City, was hitchhiking Monday when he pulled out a gun and ordered the driver out of his pickup truck near a downtown Alton pawn shop, police said.

It was then, around 4:15 p.m., that a standoff began with police that would last late into the evening, police said.

Police evacuated seven people from the pawn shop, including two children, and no one was injured, said Granite City Police Chief Dave Ruebhausen.

After the police tactical team arrived, Gargac held them at bay for hours by threatening to kill himself.

Police eventually persuaded Gargac to give up around 11 p.m.

Gargac was charged Friday with aggravated battery with a firearm in connection with a shooting July 4 that left a Granite City man seriously wounded. His bond on that charge was set Tuesday at $250,000.

Gargac, who has a long history of felony convictions, had eluded police during a chase after the incident.

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