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Utopia incident ends without incident

Special to the Courier

The Bandera County Sheriff's Office released a follow-up to last week's article in the Bandera County Courier, "SWAT teams respond to Utopia incident."

According to Chief Deputy Richard Smith, the incident that began with a 9-1-1 at 4:31 pm, Tuesday, April 10, culminated when a male subject surrendered at 11 pm after multiple hours of negotiations.

Emergency dispatchers with the Bandera County Sheriff's Office received a call from a distraught parent in Houston who said her son, 40, had apparently stopped taking bi-polar medication several days ago. As a result, the parent advised dispatch that her son was threatening suicide.

Additionally, he had threatened to take the lives of any law enforcement officers who entered his property, located in the 800 block of Cornelius Road in Utopia.

According to reports from the parent, the male subject owned a 30-06 high-powered rifle, handgun, shotgun and several rounds of ammunition. The parent also warned BCSO deputies that the topography of the property enabled the male subject to see anyone approaching from a far distance.

After county deputies arrived on location and assessed the situation, BCSO administrators requested assistance from the Bexar County Sheriff's Office and Department of Public Safety SWAT teams. Both agencies have large armored vehicles, helicopters and other equipment that would allow safe entry onto the property.

Both agencies arrived on scene at approximately 6 pm, along with the Texas Rangers and negotiators with the Bexar County SO. Subsequently, and after multiple hours of negotiations, the male subject surrendered without incident at approximately 11 pm.

An Emergency Detention Order was obtained and the male subject was transported to a San Antonio hospital where he was admitted for evaluation.

Weapons seized from the residence are currently being held at the Bandera County Sheriff's Office.

"I want to offer my thanks to DPS, the Texas Rangers and members of the Bexar County Sheriff's Office for their unselfish desire to assist us with this case," Smith said. "Their willingness to assist the Bandera County Sheriff's Office proves without a
doubt that working together with other agencies is crucial in the overall safety of all citizens within our county, as well as in surrounding counties."