05/27/04 — Armed man holds off police for 7 hours

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Armed man holds off police for 7 hours

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on May 27, 2004 2:00 PM

A seven-hour standoff ended peacefully before dawn today at a Goldsboro apartment complex with the arrest of a resident on a charge of possession of a stolen handgun.

A robot from the State Bureau of Investigation's SWAT team was also at the scene.

A police officer had tried to serve a summons for a charge of possession of a stolen handgun at about 10 p.m. Wednesday against the resident, Oscar Vega Martinez.

Martinez lives in Apartment D8 in the Oak Brook Apartments at 700 N. Spence Ave. He refused to answer his door.

At one point, Martinez began shooting, but no one was injured. The only result was damage to the apartment and its door, a police official said today. Police did not return fire, the official said.

The SBI SWAT team was called to assist police. Police Sgt. David Kelly said the team's presence was "a precaution, based on the information we had received." Several team members had come from as far as Asheville.

Dennis Honeycutt, the special agent in charge of the SBI's Greenville district, coordinated SBI personnel and worked closely with police officials during the standoff. The robot is used in searches for explosives and in other hazardous situations.

During the standoff, Kelly said, police tried to contact Martinez. But they never spoke to him.

When Martinez was arrested at about 5 a.m., he was taken before a magistrate who set his secured bond at $10,000.

Martinez was accused of breaking into a car and stealing a handgun Oct. 28 in the Pinewood Square parking lot on North Spence Avenue.

He was living in the apartment with his girlfriend, who was present during the standoff but was not charged. His brother and his brother's girlfriend also lived there, but they were not at home during the standoff.

Police also evacuated adjacent apartments. Those residents were allowed to return to their homes later this morning, Kelly said.

"We're still investigating different aspects of the incident," Kelly said, "to determine if other charges will be filed."

Police Chief Tim Bell, Maj. M.D. Hopper, Maj. Jay Memmelaar and Maj. Lee Szatkowski supervised the police operation, which included deployment of the four-member Emergency Response Team.

The Goldsboro Fire Department also assisted.