Evansville Police Use Non-Lethal Force to End Standoff

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Police say they responded to a 911 hang up call before 4 p.m. Saturday evening. When they arrived at Lewis Meador’s house near the Virginia/Third Avenue intersection he became aggressive.

“Mostly just hurling insults out the door.” Sergeant Patrick Phernetton says police when Meador continued to be aggressive, force was used to end the standoff.

“You heard pop, pop, pop,” said witness Tommy Vance.

Phernetton says after negotiations failed Meador was hit with non-lethal rubber bullets, then retreated back in his apartment. “20 minutes later he opened the door back up and said ‘aw that hurt.’ He started walking out the door and the cops went up, grabbed him,” said Vance.

Witnesses who watched the entire standoff commend officers for using less than lethal force, considering police say Meador was threatening to shoot officers. “They could’ve shot the man and killed him, but I think using rubber bullets was a good idea,” said Vance.

“Anytime we can take somebody into custody without the use of lethal force is desirable,” said Sgt. Phernetton.

Officers say Meador might have been intoxicated. Witnesses suspect his demons are deeper than substance abuse. “You could tell by the way he was acting that he has mental problems,” said Vance.

“We’ll make sure he gets the help that he needs and then eventually be off to jail,” said Sgt. Phernetton.

An incident that started with a 911 hang up escalated quickly and fortunately ended without serious injury. Phernetton says Meador’s call was likely a cry for help.

“Sometimes that’s all people want is somebody to talk to. Other times it doesn’t quite as easily as this one did,” said Sgt. Phernetton.

Sgt. Phernetton says officers did not find a firearm in Meador’s home. Meador is charged with felony intimidation and will undergo a mental evaluation.

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