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By Matthew Saari

A three-hour standoff came to end just after 7 a.m. Tuesday morning after Whitehall police took a 32-year-old local man into custody.

David Downing, of Whitehall, was arrested on a felony fugitive from justice charge in connection with crimes in Fair Haven, Vermont, as well as obstruction of governmental administration and resisting arrest after refusing to cooperate and holding police at bay on South William Street.

Whitehall-Granville police Sgt. Ryan Pedone explained that the incident began Monday evening, with Fair Haven police seeking Downing in connection with several crimes in Vermont.

“That involved burglary and assault,” Pedone said.

At 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, Pedone said, Whitehall police received an extraditable warrant from Vermont, as Downing, a Whitehall resident, had fled back across the border following his alleged crimes in the Green Mountain State.

“We began to observe the residence to ensure he was there,” said Pedone.

At 4 a.m. lights began to come on in the home and Whitehall police attempted to establish phone contact with Downing in a bid to end things peaceably.

“He indicated he would shoot us and dared us to knock on the door,” Pedone said.

When Downing proved unreceptive to police overtures, Pedone said officers began evacuating neighboring residents or advising them to stay indoors with doors locked. Additionally, Pedone requested backup from other agencies including the State Police Special Operations Response Team (SORT).

“I requested SORT’s assistance with negotiators and their tactical team,” Pedone said.

Police continued to try and talk Downing out of the building until about 6 a.m. when he finally came out, only to return to the building minutes later.

Downing came back onto the building’s porch twice more, at one time holding a knife officials said.

“He was non-compliant,” Pedone said, adding Downing continued to taunt police, goading them to come at him.

The standoff came to an end just after 7 a.m. when officers took Downing into custody after a brief struggle. No injuries were reported.

Involved agencies included Whitehall police, Granville police, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, State Police and Skenesborough EMS.

Downing was transported to Washington County Jail for arraignment. Pedone said it is likely he will be remanded as a fugitive from justice charge is not one of the qualifying offenses for a suspect to be released to his own recognizance under New York’s Bail Reform law.

This arrest comes just a week after Downing turned himself into Whitehall police for allegedly assaulting a 27-year-old Skene Street man on July 4.



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