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Five-hour standoff with deputies ends in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — A 24-year-old St. Petersburg man was arrested late Wednesday after a dramatic series of events that led to a five-hour standoff with sheriff's deputies.

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said Martiego Wallace, of 2213 32nd Ave. N, threatened a woman and her brother with a gun Wednesday afternoon. The woman called authorities about 4:30 p.m. and deputies responded to the area.

They found Wallace, who led them on a foot chase. He ducked into a back sliding door of a home at 4195 28th St. N, then ran upstairs and into a bedroom where a man, woman and young child were.

Wallace, who was still armed, told the man and woman that he didn't want to hurt them, Gualtieri said, but that he had a warrant out for his arrest. A warrant had been issued Wednesday charging him with violating his probation on a previous burglary charge.

The two adults and the child, who did not know Wallace, were able to get out of the home safely.

Deputies summoned a SWAT team and a negotiator to the scene. They threw a cellphone through a window and called it, but Wallace never picked it up. They then sent a robot-like device with a camera into the home, which showed them that Wallace was covered with blankets and sheets in an upstairs bedroom, Gualtieri said.

At some point, Wallace started running around the home opening windows. About 9:40 p.m., he jumped out of a second-floor window onto the roof of a garage. SWAT deputies closed in and Wallace fought them, even trying to grab one deputy's gun, Gualtieri said. Deputies quickly subdued Wallace, who suffered a minor injury in the fight. No deputies were injured, Gualtieri said. Wallace will face a number of charges, the sheriff said.

Gualtieri said the initial call to deputies came from a woman who said Wallace had threatened her because she and her brother had previously snitched on him to authorities. Gualtieri said the woman told deputies that Wallace had pulled up his shirt to reveal a gun in his waistband and said something to the effect of: "I'm going to kill you. This is for you and your brother."

Wallace has a criminal record that also includes charges of drug possession, domestic battery and resisting arrest.

Five-hour standoff with deputies ends in St. Petersburg 01/30/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 11:42pm]
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