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St. Petersburg man arrested after five-hour stand-off

ST. PETERSBURG — A five-hour stand-off between a St. Petersburg man and a St. Petersburg Police SWAT team ended peacefully Sunday morning after police used a flash-bang device to draw the man from his home.

According to St. Petersburg police, the man, 32-year-old Donald McDowell, refused to come out of his Meadowlawn home when police arrived to investigate a report of gunshots.

Police were called to the home at 6700 17th Street N by McDowell's girlfriend of six years around 4:30 a.m.

The girlfriend told police that she and McDowell argued when McDowell was dropped off by two women after "being out all night," according to a press release.

The girlfriend, who was not identified, said that she had to bite McDowell's arm to get away from him as he strangled her during the argument.

McDowell then went into a bedrooms and the girlfriend heard a gunshot, police said. After the woman left the home with her 6-year-old daughter, she heard a second gunshot and called police.

No one was injured by the gunfire, police said.

St. Petersburg police officers who arrived on scene spoke to McDowell briefly by telephone, but he refused to come out of the house.

The department's Tactical Apprehension and Control Team, a SWAT team, set up a perimeter. Department negotiators tried to contact McDowell several times, but he refused to communicate.

Around 9:30 a.m., TAC officers deployed a flash-bang device outside of the home. The device emits a large bang meant to distract a suspect.

"It's an attention-getter," said St. Petersburg police spokesman Bill Proffitt. "It makes a very lound boom, but it's not destructive."

Moments later, McDowell exited the home with a small, white dog and surrendered to police

Surrounding roads that were closed during the stand-off have been reopened, police said.

McDowell was arrested on a charge of aggravated domestic battery and taken to the Pinellas County Jail.

St. Petersburg man arrested after five-hour stand-off 02/14/10 [Last modified: Sunday, February 14, 2010 11:36am]
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