PLEASANT VALLEY – A 51-year-old man kept police at bay for almost an hour on Saturday afternoon after barricading himself in his mobile home. Dutchess County Sheriff Kirk Imperati was at the scene of the Hickory Hills mobile home park and told Mid-Hudson News that the crisis training his deputies were receiving resulted in a peaceful end to the standoff.
Just before 1:30 p.m. on July 23, the Pleasant Valley Fire Department ambulance responded to a mobile home at 70 Elm Street for a medical condition. When they arrived at the scene, they were greeted by what they said was an emotionally disturbed man and asked for police assistance.
Deputies from the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office responded and attempted to defuse the situation. While doing so, the subject, identified as Spencer Burrell, displayed a machete. The deputies quickly disarmed him but in the process Burrell then took possession of an Airsoft gun, which was also taken from him. Burrell was known to have several weapons in the residence, and first responders left the residence.
After the deputies and ambulance staff exited, Burrell then barricaded himself in the trailer, resulting in a standoff that prompted additional deputies, Hyde Park Police and New York State Police to respond. to the trailer park and surround the residence.
As law enforcement attempted to negotiate with Burrell, his companion, who had left the residence, was assessed by EMS personnel at the scene.
A sheriff’s detective from the UAV (drone) unit deployed a drone to give the incident commander a real-time overview of the house and surrounding area.
Crisis negotiators convinced Burrell to surrender without incident around 2:30 p.m. after an hour-long standoff.
“That’s why all of our officers receive training on de-escalation and crisis intervention,” Imperati said. “Without the necessary training, this situation could have had a very bad outcome. Ultimately, the subject will undergo medical and psychological evaluation at the hospital and each officer who responded will return home to their families.
Imperati credited the professionalism and coordinated efforts of Pleasant Valley Fire Department personnel and all police departments involved in averting what he called a “life-threatening situation.”
Charges are pending against Burrell according to Sheriff Imperati.
Video of the deployment of the Sheriff’s drone and overview of the scene: