Ten-Hour Airbase Standoff Ends with Surrender, Arrest

We see news stories about standoffs all too often these days. A domestic dispute escalates far beyond yelling and screaming, and one party ends up holding the other hostage while police SWAT teams spend hours outside the house, trying to either negotiate with the accused or otherwise force their surrender. The drama plays out before the public’s eyes with constant news updates, before the Colorado criminal defense attorneys ever even enter the picture.

What we don’t see every day, however, is a standoff at a United States air base. Just such a standoff happened recently at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, home of the U.S. 50th Space Wing. The standoff lasted for ten hours before the airman, whose name has not been released, surrendered and was taken into custody by police. Base operations were never seriously threatened, the base administration said. This is fortunate, as the 50th Space Wing controls all U.S. military GPS Satellites-interruption of these services could have been disastrous.

What is known is that around 10:00 AM, an airman commandeered a building used for troop deployment, and that the cause of the standoff may be related to the fact that the airman was accused of prior misdoings and was facing discharge so that his prior case could be tried in civilian court, with civilian criminal law lawyers.

Truthfully, this is probably a blessing for the accused, as military justice tends to be far harsher than civilian law, though now in addition to his prior offenses he is going to have to face new charges; the offense of commandeering a building and causing a ten-hour standoff with police is likely to involve felony charges, even at the civilian level.

In any case, it’s a relief that the standoff is over. The airman’s future is in the hands of his attorneys, now.

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