Man involved in standoff taken to jail
State police took the man involved in Tuesday's barricaded standoff in Rome Township into custody late Tuesday night after surrounding his house for nearly 14 hours.
Members of the state police Special Emergency Response Team took Steven M. Brown, 37, into custody at about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to information from state police at Towanda. An ambulance then transported Brown to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre to be evaluated for the suspected ingestion of bath salts, police said.
Police charged Brown with kidnapping, unlawful restraint, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and terroristic threats. Brown was provided a preliminary arraignment while at the hospital and was remanded to the Bradford County Correctional Facility in lieu of $500,000 bail, police said. Brown is scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing Oct. 30 before Magisterial District Judge Fred Wheaton.
Police said Brown barricaded himself into his house at 2677 North Rome Road after returning from the Dandy Mini Mart in Rome Borough Tuesday morning with his girlfriend, who police identified as 43-year-old Melissa Thompson. Police said both Brown and Thompson live at the residence.
Thompson said Brown began threatening her and retrieved a revolver from his gun cabinet at about 12:45 p.m. Monday, several hours after Thompson told police the two had smoked bath salts, according to a criminal complaint filed by state police with Judge Wheaton's office. Brown accused Thompson of cheating on him and prevented her from leaving the residence Monday, police said.
Thompson told police Brown had pointed a gun at her and threatened to kill her approximately ten separate times on Monday and Tuesday, police said.
Thompson said Brown woke her up at about 3 a.m. Tuesday, grabbed her by the hair and threw her in a chair, police said. Brown, holding a propane torch, then burned her shirt and threatened to smash her face with the torch, police said.
At about 9 a.m. Tuesday, Thompson entered the Dandy Mini Mart and told employees that Brown was threatening her with a gun and keeping her against her will, police said. Thompson told staff that Brown said he would enter the store with the weapon if she did not return, police said.
According to police, Thompson left the store after making a purchase and was observed by employees entering a white Subaru Outback. Police said the vehicle's left side rear windows were covered with plastic and red tape. Store employees called 911 after Thompson left, police said.
Thompson later told police that Brown told her where to park and what register to use, instructing her not to speak to anyone while in the store, police said.
Once the two returned to the house, Thompson told police she grabbed the revolver after Brown set it down, pointed it at him and threatened to shoot, police said. Brown removed the gun from her possession, then slid it under the couch, police said.
State police located the Subaru at about 9:20 a.m. Tuesday at Brown's residence and maintained a perimeter around the house, police said. After Brown saw police outside the house, he told Thompson he was going to have to kill himself to avoid going to jail, police said.
Thompson was able to escape unharmed from the house at about 11 a.m. Tuesday and ran to officers at the scene, according to police. Thompson confirmed to police that Brown was inside the residence and armed with numerous rifles, shotguns and handguns, police said.
The standoff closed a three-mile section of North Rome Road for over 12 hours Tuesday, and the nearby North Rome Christian School was placed into lockdown as a precaution.
Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: email@example.com.