SWAT standoff with deaf man in Grand Prairie ends peacefully

SWAT standoff with deaf man in Grand Prairie ends peacefully


January 20, 2014

GRAND PRAIRIE — A standoff with police ended peacefully Monday morning when a man upset about his girlfriend's arrest surrendered after threatening to kill himself.

According to Grand Prairie police spokesperson Lyle Gensler, police responded to a domestic situation at the Sugar Creek Apartments in the 900 block of Duncan Perry just after midnight Monday and found a man and a woman – both legally deaf – involved in a dispute outside their apartment.

Police determined the woman was intoxicated, and she was arrested for public intoxication.

The arrest upset her boyfriend, who called 911 using Texas Relay, a service that provides telephone access for people with speech or hearing loss. He indicated he had a gun and told dispatchers he wanted his girlfriend to be released from custody or he'd kill himself.

"He has a computer in there that he can talk to via Skype and talk to a live person, and that person can relay to us what he's signing," an officer explained during the standoff. "And that's only if he wants to talk to us. We've talked to him a couple of times, we've explained to him what's going on, but he still seems unhappy with the whole situation."

The Grand Prairie Police SWAT team was in communication with the man attempting to get him to surrender, which he did after 6 a.m. He was taken into protective custody and transferred to Parkland Hospital, where he'll undergo a 72-hour evaluation.



Police Use Video To Negotiate With Suspect

January 20, 2014

Stephanie Lucero

GRAND PRAIRIE (CBSDFW.COM) – Police in Grand Prairie used unusual methods to negotiate with a man during a standoff on Monday morning. The incident started at just after midnight at the Sugar Creek Apartments located in the 900 block of Duncan Perry Road.

Authorities were called to the scene in regards to a domestic disturbance and a possible intoxicated female. They arrived and detained the woman, then went to speak with a man inside of an apartment unit. Officials explained that they were going to take the woman for a few hours, and the man agreed.

But the man soon changed his mind. He called 911 and demanded that police release the woman from custody. He threatened suicide and indicated that he had a gun.

Police deployed a SWAT team around the apartment complex and an overnight standoff then ensued. However, both the man and the woman are legally deaf. Officials were forced to negotiate with the suspect using Relay Texas, a telephone service for individuals with speech or hearing impairments.

The service which was used is similar to Skype, and allowed officers to use sign language and hand signals through a video display in order to communicate with the barricaded suspect. “This was an interesting case that I’ve never seen in my 20-year career as a police officer,” said Det. Lyle Gensler with the Grand Prairie Police Department. “We communicated with somebody via video technology.”

The suspect was taken into custody just before 6:30 a.m. on Monday and transported to Parkland Hospital in Dallas 
for an evaluation. He did not appear to be intoxicated, police said. Nobody was injured during the incident. Officials do not anticipate filing any charges.

Just after the situation was resolved, Gensler said that the technology “turned out to work and be very effective.”



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