No one allowed into town
GLADSTONE -- Officers stopped people from going into town before they could locate the four suspects who allegedly robbed a Dickinson movie store, avoided an attempt by the Highway Patrol to stop them, shot at law enforcement and holed up in a garage Saturday.
"We cordoned off the area and searched vehicles," State Patrol Regional Sgt. Norman Ruud said.
Officers also searched a home in an attempt to locate the suspects.
Dozens of squad cars were around the Gladstone area and along the Enchanted Highway. Officers closed about a 2-mile stretch of the highway with a squad blockade and had an area near the Interstate 94 exit blocked early Saturday morning.
Gladstone resident Anthony Jasmann saw numerous lights at about midnight and didn't know what was going on. He thought maybe there was an accident so he and a friend went out to see what was happening. They got near the Interstate and law enforcement stopped them.
"Six or seven cops pulled their guns on us," he said, adding they told them to put their hands up, don't move and pop the trunk. Officers asked if they had seen a gray SUV and told them there had been an armed robbery.
He said the officers were very professional but it was still alarming.
"We were scared and shaky," Jasmann said. "It's a pretty eerie feeling to have that many guns pulled on you at one time."
Residents who tried to come into or leave town were stopped, searched and told to turn around, including Brian Dvorak who attempted to get into Gladstone at about 12:45 a.m. Saturday.
"I wanted to get home because that's where my bed is," he said. "But they were just trying to do their jobs and I understand that."
After receiving a reverse 911 call alerting them of fugitives in the area, Gladstone resident Leon Rummel said he and his wife Deb locked their house and kept watch.
Between 4:30 and 5 a.m., Rummel said the Stark County Sheriff's Department came to search their home for "a few minutes." Rummel said he wasn't surprised.
"I figured if they thought they were in the area they'd come down and look," Rummel said. "I thought (the fugitives) may come to my house, they may want a vehicle or something. We just locked the doors and kept a look out."
Rummel lives about a mile and a half from the garage where the fugitives were.
"They (sheriff's department) came here and they don't know if maybe someone's in the house and we can't say someone's in the house. They are just trying to cover all the bases," Rummel said.
-- Jennifer McBride and Beth Wischmeyer contributed to this story.