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Man threatening to use Molotov cocktails in standoff with police in St. Pete

ST. PETERSBURG — Police were in a standoff late Tuesday night with a man holed up in a house with explosive devices and a disabled elderly woman.

Police said they were summoned to 601 74th St. N about 6:30 p.m. and learned that a 21-year-old man lived at that address with his father and a disabled woman in her 80s who rents space there. The father, who was outside the home when officers arrived, told police that his son had become upset and that he had Molotov cocktails, said police spokesman Mike Puetz.

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

Police did not identify the man or say what he was upset about.

Puetz said the father told officers that his son gets along with the elderly woman and that he is not upset with her. The woman's son, who is a friend of the man who is upset, also was in the house for a time, but emerged and began speaking with officers, Puetz said.

Police do not believe the man is a threat to the woman or that he is holding her hostage — though the father told officers that his son threatened to burn the house down.

"Nobody is being held there against their will," Puetz said. "Everybody is free to go if they want to."

Police negotiators had been talking to the man for several hours by late Tuesday night. The original call to authorities came from the upset man's mother, who lives at another location, police said.

"Obviously we want him to come out peacefully and not hurt himself," Puetz said.

Man threatening to use Molotov cocktails in standoff with police in St. Pete 05/31/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 11:35pm]
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