Kidnapper holds police at bay SWAT team called in from Williamsport
State police remained locked in an ongoing standoff late Tuesday night with a Rome man who reportedly barricaded himself with weapons inside his Rome Township house with his girlfriend inside.
According to members of her family at the scene, Mellissa Thompson, 41, was being held Tuesday in the North Rome Road house of Steven Mark Brown, 37. State police at Towanda said police had not taken anyone into custody as of late Tuesday night.
Family members said Brown had a history of abuse toward Thompson, and district court filings show that state police arrested Brown Oct. 8 on charges of simple assault and harassment.
State police filed an inactive criminal complaint Tuesday against Brown in district court, according to court information. The listed charges include kidnapping to inflict injury or terror, terroristic threats, unlawful restraint with risk of serious bodily injury and simple assault.
Bystanders at the scene Tuesday reported that the standoff began at about 10 a.m. at a house half a mile south of North Rome Road's intersection with Robinson Road. The standoff closed North Rome Road for over 12 hours Tuesday from Robinson Road to Dry Run Road.
The Ulster-Sheshequin Fire Association, the Ulster division of Tri-Township Ambulance and the Vigilante Engine Company of Rome directed traffic onto back roads. Residents were not allowed to enter the area.
North Rome Christian School, located in the North Rome Wesleyan Church at Robinson and North Rome roads, went into lockdown at about noon Tuesday as a precaution, said school administrator Lee Ann Carmichael.
School staff emailed and called parents, encouraging those who pick up their children to arrive early, Carmichael said. Buses pulled up directly to the church's sanctuary to pick up students, she said. No students walk home from the school.
Carmichael said school staff were in contact with state police throughout the day. "It's been busy, but very organized," she said Tuesday of the lockdown, the school's first in its 30-year history.
Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.