Westbank standoff ends with surrender | PostIndependent.com

Westbank standoff ends with surrender

Heather McGregor and John Colson
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Craig Dance

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – A resident of the Westbank subdivision surrendered to law enforcement authorities about three hours after firing shots at a deputy who came to check on the man.

Craig Dance, 61, was booked into the Garfield County Jail Monday evening, according to Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario.

Dance appears on several business listing websites as a residential homebuilder with an office at 225 Westbank Road, the location where the incident occurred.

The incident began Tuesday afternoon when Dance reportedly placed a phone call to a local resident and said, “I’m a bloody mess.” The resident called the sheriff’s department to ask deputies to go to the home and check on Dance.

The deputy arrived at the home around 4:10 p.m. and knocked on the door. Dance met the deputy at the door and within a few moments fired several rounds, Vallario said.

“The deputy took cover behind his vehicle,” Vallario said, and at least two bullets struck the patrol cruiser.

The deputy wasn’t hit, and Dance remained in the home. Additional law enforcement officers raced to the subdivision, which is built around a golf course south of Glenwood Springs.

Authorities blocked the entrance to the subdivision, preventing residents who were returning from work from going to their homes. Some residents in neighboring homes were evacuated, but most were asked to stay indoors.

As a further precaution, the sheriff’s department asked all residents of Westbank Road to take shelter inside their homes and stay away from windows.

Amy Larsen was among the Westbank residents waiting at the roadblock. Her teenage daughter had gone home sick earlier in the day, and was alone in their home several blocks away from Dance’s home.

“I told her to make sure all the doors are locked and she is locked in,” Larsen said.

“I’ve got to tell you, I said a prayer. I think she is going to be okay. I have faith in what these guys are doing,” Larsen said, watching law enforcement officers working the scene.

Once it became clear that Dance had barricaded himself in the home, deputies called for the Garfield County All Hazards Response Team and the crisis negotiators to come to the scene. Deputies also arrived in the sheriff’s department’s armored Bearcat vehicle.

Officers from the Glenwood Springs Police Department, Carbondale Police Department and Colorado State Patrol also arrived to assist.

Trained negotiators, including Silt Police Chief Levy Burris, arrived by 6 p.m. and entered the darkened subdivision in the crisis negotiations van. Other officers arriving in a Rifle Police Department vehicle were fully outfitted in camouflage clothing.

Officers surrounded the house, keeping a steady eye on all the doors and windows.

At 6:45 p.m., an officer communicating on the radio reported seeing movement through the bay window of the house.

Vallario said that once the crisis negotiation team was set up, they telephoned the house to speak with Dance. After talking with him for about two minutes, Dance agreed to surrender peacefully and emerged from the house.

At 7:15 p.m., Garfield County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Tanny McGinnis reported that Dance was in custody.

As Dance was being driven out of the subdivision by authorities, another Westbank resident waiting at the roadblock said she recognized him as a neighbor, describing him as a recluse who rarely was seen outside the home.

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