Police standoff continues at Halfmoon mobile home

Tear gas fails to dislodge man during daylong siege
Officers at the scene of a standoff at Halfmoon Heights mobile home park in Halfmoon.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
Officers at the scene of a standoff at Halfmoon Heights mobile home park in Halfmoon.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

A police standoff in a Halfmoon trailer park continued as Sunday turned into Monday, after police surrounded the mobile home of a man who’d been involved in a domestic incident a week earlier.

Members of the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office and New York State Police troopers stationed themselves outside of a mobile home on Sue Lane at the Halfmoon Heights Trailer Park in Halfmoon. They spent more than 10 hours trying to get a man, identified by police as 39-year-old Mike Davis, to come outside.

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Following several hours of unsuccessful pleas for Davis to come outside, and a brief period of inactivity, a loud bang echoed in the night around 8:15 p.m.

“It doesn’t have to be like this, Mike,” police said via loudspeaker a short time later. “Open the window, Mike.”

About 15 minutes later, the calls from police ceased, and the scene fell silent. What followed was close to 30 rounds of tear gas fired into the mobile home over the course of an hour.

However, Davis was apparently unaffected, as the standoff continued past 11 p.m. One neighbor suspected Davis had a gas mask with him, rendering the tactic ineffective.

Even as New York State Police Capt. Robert Patnaude briefed reporters on the situation just before 11 p.m., negotiators could be heard in the background calling out to Davis.

The incident originated around noon when Davis reportedly showed up at the mobile home with a gun. This came 11 days after he hit his wife, neighbors said.

That domestic dispute led to a roughly four-hour standoff, police said, and concluded with Davis being arrested and charged for violating an order of protection. He was released after posting bail, and was able to keep at least one of his guns.

“She’s a victim,” one neighbor said of the man’s wife. “The police failed [the wife and kids].”

Davis’ wife and children were not in the mobile home with him at the time of the standoff on Sunday, police said. Though he was making suicidal comments and had fired a gun a few times, police were hesitant to enter the home.

“We’ll get him out at some point,” Patnaude said. “We’re not going to send troopers into the house and put their lives at risk. He’s not in a position where he can hurt anybody else at this time besides himself. So, we’re not going to put people in there and provoke him into a confrontation.”

Davis has been a source of trouble in the neighborhood, residents said. He can often be heard yelling and fighting with his wife, and Lurdena Tedrick, who lives a few lots away, said the man has in the past fought with her husband.

Tedrick said she lives at 29 E. Sue Lane, and Davis lives a few lots over from her. Many children, including her own, live at the mobile home facility, which was formerly known as Turf Trailer Park, she said.

“It can’t be safe if someone like that is around,” Tedrick said.

By about 5 p.m., police had set up a PA system to communicate with Davis.

“Come on, Mike. I can’t help you unless you talk to me,” the police said via loudspeaker. “Mike, put the gun down.”

They spent most of the next several hours trying to coax Davis to the window, telling him they didn’t want to enter the house, and that his family was safe. They resorted to tear gas after Davis fired a shot in the direction of police, Patnaude said.

Though the man’s home is located on Sue Lane, police had blocked off the adjacent Fern Lane to all traffic, and asked those living in houses along those roads to evacuate and move up the street.

Several residents remained behind the police tape as the standoff dragged well into the night. It was unclear whether they’d be allowed back in their homes Sunday night.

“They’re upset, they want to get back to their homes,” Patnaude said. “I understand that, but for their safety we have to keep them out of their homes for now.”

Dozens of neighbors looked on throughout the day and night. For some it was because they couldn’t get back to their homes since the road was cordoned off, and for others it was out of curiosity. Most were calm, and simply hoped to see the conclusion of the hours-long standoff.

One young girl rolled around on a hoverboard. One woman brought out a lawn chair and sat near the police tape, looking down the road. One resident ordered Chinese food, but the delivery man was unable to make it past the police barricade.

A brief downpour and strong gusts of wind forced many to seek shelter in their cars or residences up the road, but by 7 p.m., about 15 people returned in the hopes of seeing the standoff come to an end.

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