Arrow-right Camera


Five-Hour Standoff Ends In Surrender Two Men Give Up After Barricading Themselves In Apartment Building Laundry For Five Hours

Fri., Jan. 6, 1995

(For the record, January 7, 1995): David Delfs and John Leonard Calvert were not immediately charged after police arrested them Thursday, as reported in Friday’s newspaper. The two were held in the Spokane County Jail at the request of the U.S. Marshals office.

Two men wanted on federal charges surrendered to authorities after barricading themselves in a South Hill apartment building for nearly five hours Thursday afternoon.

Spokane police brought in bomb disposal units after receiving a tip that the men might have weapons and explosives with them in the basement laundry room of the building at E45 Eighth, just east of Sacred Heart Medical Center.

David Delfs, 39, and John Leonard Calvert, 35, were booked into the Spokane County Jail on two felony counts of possession of stolen property.

Federal charges will follow, said Spokane police Capt. Roger Bragdon.

Spokane police, sheriff’s deputies and federal agents staked out the apartment building about 2:30 p.m. and sealed off the surrounding two-block area.

The men gave themselves up almost immediately after authorities made contact with them by telephone, 4 hours after the standoff began.

“They were ready to come out,” Bragdon said. “One of them just wanted to finish smoking his cigarette.”

Bragdon described both suspects as highstrung and nervous. They had been holed up in a 400-square-foot room with no windows. The suspects were handcuffed and led from the building shortly before 7 p.m.

Calvert, whose street name is “Red,” had strawberry-blond hair and wore black jeans and a white T-shirt that said: “Why work? Win the Lottery.”

Police emptied change from Calvert’s pockets as they held him against a patrol car and read him his rights. Delfs, also known as “Crazy,” ducked down in the back of another patrol car to avoid news cameras.

The incident began about 1:30 p.m. when agents from the Federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms saw the suspects in downtown Spokane in what they believed was a stolen car. The ATF agents had been doing surveillance on the men for at least a week.

“These are just generally bad guys,” said sheriff’s Lt. Lorin Sperry. “All I can tell you is it’s bad.”

Authorities did not release details of the pending federal charges. At least one charge, however, will involve possession of a sawedoff shotgun recovered in the apartment building, said police spokesman Dick Cottam.

Delfs and Calvert also are suspected of stealing several cars, including some from parking lots of a Spokane health club, police said. Two stolen cars were recovered in a parking lot next to the apartment building.

The ATF agents notified city police when they saw the stolen vehicle downtown. The suspects left the scene and drove to the apartment building at Eighth and Cowley, Cottam said.

Authorities said the men went upstairs to apartment No. 9, where they left the shotgun, later recovered by police.

The men probably went to that building because they knew a teenage girl who occasionally stayed in that apartment, Cottam said.

That girl is a 17-year-old runaway named Amber, said apartment manager Doug Baker. She was given the keys to the apartment by the tenant, he said.

The area surrounding the apartment building was blocked off for several hours. People getting off work at Sacred Heart about 4 p.m. were delayed in retrieving their cars from the parking lot next to the apartment building.

School buses were rerouted to avoid the area. Twelve students from Roosevelt Elementary and Sacajawea Middle School, whose bus stops were in the area, were delivered directly to their homes by Mayflower, the bus contractor, and Spokane School District 81 security officers, said Hugh Davis, school district spokesman.

The nine apartment units were evacuated, but few of the building’s dozen or so residents were home, said manager Baker.

Police had time on their side, Cottam said.

“What’s the hurry? They’re not going anywhere,” he said. “(Police) can go all night in a standoff situation.”

ILLUSTRATION: 3 Photos; Map of standoff area

The following fields overflowed: BYLINE = Alison Boggs Staff writer Staff writer Carla Johnson contributed information to this report.


Click here to comment on this story »