Charlotte-Mecklenburg police arrested one person following an early morning standoff Friday that closed several blocks in Charlotte’s uptown.
No injuries were reported in the incident, which police say started with an alleged carjacking about 1 a.m. in southwest Charlotte.
For several hours early Friday morning, police closed several blocks of North Graham and West Trade streets while they used a loudspeaker to urge one or two suspects to come out of the old Polk Building. Residents of nearby uptown condominiums tweeted developments as SWAT team members surrounded the building.
The southbound lanes of Graham Street remained closed much of the day Friday. Charlotte fire Capt. Rob Brisley said fire investigators were examining the structural integrity of the building, which was damaged when struck by the suspect’s vehicle following a police pursuit.
The arrest was made about 6:30 a.m., but police SWAT team members continued searching the building for two more hours, looking for a possible second suspect. There was no word of a second arrest.
Officer Keith Trietley, a spokesman for CMPD, said the series of events began shortly after 1 a.m., when police were called about a robbery in the 2100 block of Diamond Creek Circle, in southwest Charlotte near South Tryon Street and Interstate 485. A woman told police her vehicle was stolen at gunpoint, Trietley said.
A short time later, police spotted the vehicle not far from uptown. Police said they attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver refused to stop. With police in pursuit, the driver crashed the car into scaffolding in front of the old Polk Building, in the 500 block of West Trade Street.
The man jumped from the car and ran into the building, Trietley said.
Police called out their SWAT team and began negotiating with the suspect inside. Shortly before 6 a.m., police used a loudspeaker to advise the suspect to come out of the building with his hands up.
“We know you are in there,” an officer said on the loudspeaker. “Come out with your hands up.”
Minutes later, the officer said, “Come out with your hands up. You will not be hurt.”
Several neighbors, including Carolina Panthers backup quarterback Derek Anderson, tweeted about what they were seeing. Anderson tweeted about 6 a.m. that police were focusing a spotlight on a third-floor window in the Polk Building. A short time later, he tweeted that more SWAT officers had arrived. Residents in the area reported seeing police taking ladders into the building.
Shortly after 6:30 a.m., a police helicopter was circling over the scene, and several Medic vehicles were parked nearby. A bomb squad also had been called in. After the arrest was made, police activity gradually decreased over the next two hours.
Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle
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