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One in custody following seven-hour standoff

UPDATED: Wed., March 13, 2013, 4:51 p.m.

An assault suspect who held Spokane police at bay for seven hours this morning, at times holding up a mannequin that gave the appearance he wasn’t alone inside a Hillyard skate shop, is in custody.

After detectives served a search warrant, SWAT officers went inside the building to apprehend the alleged attacker, identified as 39-year-old Glen M. Fisher. As officers brought him out in handcuffs, his dreaded hair veiled his face.

One man is in custody following a seven-hour standoff that police said began when one man attacked another man with a machete early this morning in Hillyard. (SR Photo: Colin Mulvany)

Police Commander Brad Arleth said the incident began when police received a report of a man going into his neighbor’s apartment at 3001 E. Diamond Ave. No. 1 and attacking him with a machete.

Officer Teresa Fuller said the other man defended himself with a baseball bat and apparently was not seriously injured.

When officers arrived, Fisher came out with a machete and a sledgehammer and refused to obey commands from officers, Arleth said.

Officers retreated, he said, and Fisher ran into the Hillyard Skate Shop. Officers called in SWAT and hostage negotiation teams.

“For a period of time we thought there was another person in there as the suspect was actually holding up a mannequin behind a window and talking back and forth as if there was two people,” Arleth said.

Police shot gas canisters into the business and tried to contact Fisher via loudspeaker.

Arleth said they could hear the man speaking but that he never directly responded to the negotiators.

“The officers on scene offered repeatedly for hours for him to come out,” the commander said. “They offered water, they offered food, they offered medical assistance, we had an ambulance on standby.”

At about 9:45, SWAT members wearing gas masks entered the skate shop.

Arleth said the suspect was located facedown on the ground but rolled over quickly, and wielding a 3-foot wooden spear, attempted to stab the officers, Arleth said. Officers quickly took the man into custody before he was wrestled out the front door and onto a stretcher.

Arleth said the man would be transported to a local hospital for treatment and a mental evaluation.

“He’s obviously under the influence of something and or possibly some mental health issues,” Arleth said.

More information will be posted on this story as it becomes available.