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St. Petersburg man's firebomb standoff ends in arrest; no one injured

ST. PETERSBURG — Police arrested the 21-year-old man holed up in a house with explosive devices and a disabled elderly woman early Wednesday after a several hour standoff.

Police said they were summoned to 601 74th St. N about 6:30 p.m. and learned that Andrew C. Exposito was inside with a disabled woman in her 80s who rents space there and her son. Exposito's father, who was outside the home when officers arrived, told police that his son had become upset and that he had Molotov cocktails — often bottles filled with gasoline and rag wicks — said police spokesman Mike Puetz.

Police called Exposito, who threatened to hurl the explosive devices at any officers who came near, Puetz said.

Puetz said the father told officers that his son gets along with the elderly woman and that he is not upset with her or her son. Her son eventually left unharmed.

The original call to authorities came from the Exposito's mother, who lives at another location, police said. She told police that Exposito was acting mentally imbalanced and suicidal. Exposito had cut his arms and made three Molotov cocktails, which he was also threatening to use to kill himself.

Police negotiators spoke with the man for several hours Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Police said he continued to repeat his threats. Members of the department's Tactical Apprehension and Control team were eventually deployed.

Exposito eventually turned himself in about 2 a.m. after his mother arrived from Charlotte County and helped convince him to come out.

The elderly woman was found inside the house unharmed. Investigators found three Molotov cocktails inside the home.

Exposito was arrested and charged with manufacturing a destructive device. He also faces a charge of felony domestic battery in an unrelated case. He is accused of strangling his girlfriend.

St. Petersburg man's firebomb standoff ends in arrest; no one injured 06/01/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 1, 2011 7:24am]
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