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Harrison Twp. man pleads guilty in SWAT standoff

In World
May 14, 2024

May 14—A Harrison Twp. man faces up to 16 years in prison for firing shots and then barricading himself inside an apartment in February, prompting an hourslong SWAT standoff, while he was free awaiting trial for felonious assault.

John Eric Duke Sr., 37, pleaded guilty May 6 in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court to having weapons while under disability and inducing panic, both felony charges, in addition to felonious assault for the first case.

He is scheduled to be sentenced May 22 and faces up to 12 years for felonious assault, three years for the weapons charge and one year for inducing panic, according to plea documents.

Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputies responded around 6:35 p.m. Feb. 1 to a report of gunfire in the 5100 block of Embassy Place in the Creekside Townhomes.

When they arrived they saw Duke run into an apartment with a black firearm in his hand. He reportedly barricaded the entrances to the apartment, according to an affidavit filed in Vandalia Municipal Court.

Deputies surrounded the building and used a loudspeaker to order Duke to come out. When he did not come outside, they requested aid from other area law enforcement agencies, including SWAT and hostage negotiation teams.

“Duke would not cooperate with the hostage negotiators and a several hourslong standoff with SWAT ensued with the deployment of chemical munitions into the apartment,” an affidavit read. “When Duke finally emerged from the residence, he continued to defy commands from SWAT personnel and additional less lethal munitions were deployed to subdue Duke.”

During a search of the apartment, investigators reported finding a Glock handgun in the mattress of a child’s bassinet as well as suspected crack cocaine in the apartment.

At the time of the incident Duke was free on his own recognizance in an unrelated case on charges of felonious assault and having weapons under disability, court records show.

As part of his plea agreements additional counts of felonious assault and having weapons while under disability as well as charges of obstructing official business, using weapons while intoxicated and criminal trespass were dismissed. He also must forfeit the handgun, according to plea documents.

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