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Snoqualmie man arrested after standoff

SNOQUALMIE _ Downtown was the scene of a tense standoff

Wednesday evening, when Snoqualmie resident Michael Stewart engaged

police officers from several jurisdications in an armed standoff adjacent to

the Coast to Coast Hardware store.

Snoqualmie Police resolved the situation after about 45 minutes,

taking Stewart into custody. No one was hurt or injured and no shots were

fired during the confrontation.

According to SPS Capt. Jim Schaffer, events started with a

phone complaint that the 23-year-old subject was making a lot of noise in the

alley by the hardware store. The caller termed Stewart as being "out of

control emotionally." The responding officer gave the subject a verbal

warning and cleared the scene.

Schaffer responded around 7:45 after a repeat phone call which

indicated Stewart was back and screaming profanities. When Schaffer

arrived, he observed the subject in the Coast to Coast parking lot, armed with

a shotgun and a handgun and yelling at the "top of his lungs."

"I was by myself _ momentarily _ until the `world' arrived," said

Schaffer Thursday. "Snoqualmie Police were assisted by the Washington State

Patrol and King County deputies. In containing the scene about a square

block was secured, including locking down the surrounding businesses.

"Within a 40-minute time frame, the police were able to negotiate

with the subject and convinced him to surrender at 2033 (8:33). He was

booked into the King County Jail on $10,000 bail. Apparently he was having

problems at home."

Chuck Smith was working at the Coast to Coast that evening when

the incident took place. He said they received a phone call from the

police advising them to lock the place up and stay indoors.

"About the time we locked up it seemed like every cop in the

county was there," said Smith Monday.

"They even had a canine unit.

"It was pretty tense," he added.

"I had no idea who it was. If I'd known it was Mike, I probably would've

gone out there and said, "Aw, come on MikeĀ…"

Capt. Schaffer singled out the hardware store staff for their

cooperation during the standoff, saying, "The people there were really great, they

did exactly as they were told. Since it was their parking lot we were dealing

with, it helped."

According to Dan Donohoe with the King County Prosecutor's

Office, Stewart was arraigned Friday on charges of obstructing a law

enforcement officer and displaying a weapon. Further disposition of his case is

pending.

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