Monday, June 18, 2018
Public safety

Pinellas deputies use tear gas to end SWAT standoff

The Pinellas Sheriff's Office SWAT team used tear gas to force out a man who hid inside a Lealman apartment Wednesday after pulling a gun on a St. Petersburg police officer, officials said.

Andrew M. Giannisis, 32, of Pinellas Park, was pulled over by police just after midnight in St. Petersburg, authorities said. He pulled the gun on the officer, then drove off.

Deputies later found the car Giannisis was driving on 46th Avenue N in Lealman. An investigation led them to an apartment complex nearby, at 4480 40th St. N, where deputies believed he was hiding.

While watching the apartment, deputies saw two women walk outside. They asked them if Giannisis was there and the women said he was. The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office then dispatched its SWAT team and set up a perimeter to negotiate for Giannisis' surrender.

After several hours, Giannisis still would not come outside, so SWAT members tossed a canister of tear gas through a window. Giannisis walked out the front door and surrendered. He was arrested on charges of aggravated assault on a police officer and fleeing and eluding.

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