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Man charged after Grand Forks motel standoff ends peacefully

GRAND FORKS -- A 43-year-old man is in custody and has been charged after an hours-long standoff with police at a Grand Forks motel Wednesday morning ended peacefully.

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Police standoff at the Budget Inn Motel, in Grand Forks, N.D. on June 15, 2016. (Meg Oliphant/Forum News Service)

GRAND FORKS -- A 43-year-old man is in custody and has been charged after an hours-long standoff with police at a Grand Forks motel Wednesday morning ended peacefully.

Police identified the suspect as Chance Christian Jacobson, who had been living at the Budget Inn Express for about two months. Court records list his previous address as Arvilla, N.D.

Jacobson surrendered at 12:44 p.m., and no one was injured.

Grand Forks Police officers were dispatched at 7:54 a.m. to the motel, 3400 Gateway Drive, for a report of an armed man threatening to harm himself, according to a press release. Jacobson had barricaded himself alone in room 170 with a handgun, and as negotiations went on, Jacobson randomly fired about five rounds in the room, the release states.

After Altru ambulance medics looked him over, Jacobson was booked at Grand Forks County Correctional Center and was charged in Grand Forks District Court with terrorizing and reckless endangerment, both felony charges. He makes his first appearance on the charges Thursday morning.

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The motel complex consists of four buildings with rooms opening to a parking lot, and the suspect was in the south part of the building second-farthest to the east.

Guests and others were evacuated or took shelter inside the motel as police negotiators talked with the suspect. It was unclear how many people were trapped inside the motel. One witness said he had family members sheltered in a bathroom inside.

Two SWAT team members were posted on the roof of the motel as law enforcement waited outside.

During the standoff, negotiators had on-and-off communication with Jacobson, Lt. Derik Zimmel said. About 20 minutes before Jacobson surrendered, he came to the doorway looking like he would walk out before retreating back inside.

“That’s not an uncommon thing to have happen,” Zimmel said. “It’s a very stressful time in the negotiation to get an individual to come outside of a room. When they exit a room, they see an awful lot of officers out there. It’s a scary situation.”

When conversation lagged, police twice detonated distractionary devices that emit light and sound that “overwhelm the senses,” Zimmel said. After those were detonated, the conversation started again.

“Our number one goal in all of these type of incidences is a safe, peaceful resolution without death or injury,” Zimmel said. “That’s what we’re here for. That’s what we work for. And that’s what’s been accomplished today.”

Managers at the hotel did not want to comment, but they did say they had no previous trouble with Jacobson and most people at the motel had left for work and other activities before the standoff occurred.

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Jacobson was last convicted of possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia in Grand Forks County in 2014. He was convicted of disorderly conduct in Polk County in 2015.

The investigation is ongoing, and additional charges could be possible.

Related Topics: CRIME
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