Thursday, December 29, 2016

Standoff Ends Peacefully Overnight

An incident involving a male and a standoff with police ended peacefully overnight Wednesday into Thursday.

According to Pottsville Police, officers were dispatched to around 9:00pm Wednesday, 12/28/16, for an armed man inside 800-14 N. Second Street.

Officers learned that during a domestic argument James Ritter, 29,  had pointed a rifle at his 35 year old girlfriend inside the residence while their 9 month old child was also present. The man had then ordered her out of the home and made statements to the effect that he was not leaving alive and would commit “suicide by cop”. 

Police secured a perimeter around the home and evacuated neighbors as communications were established intermittently with Ritter, during which he continually refused to cooperate with instructions to end the situation peacefully and made references to death. 

As communication attempts continued a Pennsylvnaia State Police SERT team was dispatched and responded to the scene, preparing to proactively remove Ritter from the home, if necessary. 

However, at approximately 12:30am, Thursday, Ritter agreed to exit the home through the front door and he was taken into custody without further incident. 

During a search of the residence police recovered the Mossberg .308 rifle he had used during the incident.

Ritter was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge James Reiley on the charges of Simple Assault pursuant to Domestic Violence, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, and Persistent Disorderly Conduct. He was remanded to the Schuylkill County Prison in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Additional charges are pending the on-going investigation.

Pottsville Fire and Fire Police personnel assisted with blocking streets to prevent vehicular traffic during the incident and unnecessary danger to civilians.

The Pennsylvania State Police and Port Carbon police assisted at the scene.