Police Standoff Ends Peacefully


What was initially reported as a domestic violence dispute in Payson Ranchos Tuesday turned into a police standoff with the suspect threatening to commit suicide with a rifle.

The two-hour ordeal ended peacefully, when the suspect, 31-year-old Leetta Stewart, gave up and surrendered the weapon to police.

Police were first notified of the problem just before 10 p.m. Tuesday, when it was reported that Stewart and her boyfriend were fighting.

"When officers arrived, they found Stewart involved in an argument with a male," Police Lt. Don Engler said. "The male went into the garage, and Stewart went into the mobile home. When she left the home, she was carrying a rifle and went behind a car in the driveway."

Stewart told officers to leave, or she would kill herself. Police officers escorted Stewart's boyfriend and another male safely from the residence while eight officers secured the scene and Payson Police Officer John Heflin tried to calm Stewart down.

"After more than two hours of negotiations, Heflin was able to talk Stewart into laying the weapon down and coming out," Engler said. "She was taken into custody without incident."

Stewart was charged with use of dangerous drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia and disorderly conduct. She was released Tuesday after posting a $5,000 bond.

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