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Two more arrested after investigation into standoff

A home on the 100 block of Mission Road SE in Cass Lake.

BEMIDJI -- Two people -- one of whom is a juvenile -- were arrested Friday a day after allegedly escaping the scene of a standoff near Cass Lake.

The Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office initially said they were searching for two juveniles following the hours-long Thursday-morning incident. The release, sent Friday afternoon, said a 16-year-old juvenile and a 22-year-old male were arrested.

Eight people were initially detained after the standoff and four were taken to the Beltrami County Jail where Chief Deputy Ernie Beitel said they would await formal charges. As of 4 p.m. Friday, at least two of those four individuals -- Sharla Rae Jones, 26, and Douglas Allen Butcher, 22 -- had been charged with obstructing the legal process.

According to the release, the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a “distraught” woman at about 3:40 a.m. Thursday reporting she needed help. The call was abruptly disconnected and deputies, along with Leech Lake Tribal Police officers went to the scene: a house at the 100 block of Mission Road SE.

Beltrami County Sheriff Phil Hodapp said law enforcement initially believed the woman had been held at gunpoint, but later determined no one had been held captive. The woman did tell police people inside the house had guns.

Once they arrived at the scene, law enforcement realized there were multiple people in the house who were barricading themselves inside. SWAT personnel also arrived and began negotiating with the group inside with limited success, the release said.

A Code Red Alert was issued for the area at 6:09 a.m. asking those nearby to stay in their homes.

By 7 a.m. SWAT used tear gas to subdue the group inside the house, eight of whom exited.

Law enforcement told the Pioneer on Thursday that two juveniles, at least one of whom was armed, escaped the house.

The 16-year-old referred to in the Friday news release was arrested along with his “accomplice” -- Damien Allen Ramsey, 22, of Twin Valley -- in Bemidji at about 1:30 p.m. Friday afternoon. Both were arrested on existing warrants, the release said, though it also stated that the arrests occurred as the result of the investigation into the standoff.

4:21 p.m. Thursday update

BEMIDJI -- Two people are at large and four are in custody Thursday after an hours-long standoff near Cass Lake.

According a news release from the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office, law enforcement received a call at 3:40 a.m. Thursday from a “distraught” woman reporting she needed help. Sheriff Phil Hodapp told the Pioneer that while it was initially believed the woman had been held in a house at gunpoint, no one had actually been held captive.

Once officers arrived at the home, located on the 100 block of Mission Road Southeast, they realized there were multiple people in the house. SWAT personnel arrived at the scene and began negotiating with the 10 people inside -- who had begun barricading themselves in the house -- with limited success, Hodapp said.

A Code Red Alert was issued for the area at 6:09 a.m. asking those in the area to stay in their homes.

At about 7 a.m., SWAT eventually used tear gas to subdue those in the house, eight of whom then exited and were initially detained. Four of those people will be formally charged, Chief Deputy Ernie Beitel told the Pioneer.

Hodapp said that at some point during the incident two juveniles, at least one of whom was armed, escaped the house. They are currently at large, though law enforcement has declined to make their names public.  

The juveniles have multiple warrants for their arrests, Hodapp said.

Multiple law enforcement agencies were at the scene, including Leech Lake Tribal Police, the Bemidji Police Department and the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office. Most of them had left the area by 11 a.m.

Hodapp said no one was hurt and no shots were fired. The incident remains under investigation. 

Original story

BEMIDJI -- Two people are at large and eight are in custody Thursday after an hours-long standoff near Cass Lake.

According to Beltrami County Sheriff Phil Hodapp, law enforcement received a call early Thursday morning from a woman reporting she had been held in a house at gunpoint. She was able to escape and call police, Hodapp said.

Once officers arrived at the home, located on the 100 block of Mission Road SE, they realized there were multiple people in the house. SWAT personnel arrived at the scene and began negotiating with the 10 people inside -- who had begun barricading themselves in the house -- without success, Hodapp said.

A Code Red Alert was issued for the area at 6:09 a.m. asking those in the area to stay in their homes.

SWAT eventually used tear gas to subdue those in the house, eight of whom then exited and were arrested. By late Thursday morning the house appeared empty, with multiple broken windows.

Hodapp said that at some point during the incident the two people who had held the woman at gunpoint -- who he said are juveniles -- escaped the house. They are currently at large.

The juveniles have multiple warrants for their arrests.

As of 10 a.m. Thursday, multiple law enforcement agencies were at the scene, including Leech Lake Tribal Police, the Bemidji Police Department and the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office. Most of them had left the area by 11 a.m.

Hodapp said no one was hurt and no shots were fired.

Grace Pastoor

Grace Pastoor covers crime, courts and social issues for the Bemidji Pioneer. Contact her at (218) 333-9796 or gpastoor@bemidjipioneer.com

(218) 333-9796
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