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Iowa City Police Use Gas To End Standoff at Hotel

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IOWA CITY, Iowa - A more than six hour standoff between Iowa City police and a Hope House escapee ended early Wednesday with police deploying gas at an area hotel.

Iowa City police officers responded to the Alexis Park Inn, 1165 S. Riverside Drive, at 8 p.m. Tuesday to serve warrants on 43-year-old Brandon Scott Thompson. Iowa City police Sgt. Vicki Lalla said Thompson was wanted by the Iowa Department of Corrections for escape from the Hope House residential facility in Coralville and a weapons charge. He was also wanted on a federal drug charge.

Lalla said Thompson fled the Hope House in December.

Officers were unable to make contact with Thompson, but confirmed he was at the hotel. After he refused to open the door for officers, the department's Special Response and Crisis Negotiations teams were called to the scene.

Police said numerous attempts by negotiators to make contact with Thompson failed, the SRT prepared to make entry. Lalla said SRT officers announced they were going to enter the room and when Thompson failed to come out, they deployed gas into the room. Thompson left the room and was arrested in the hallway at 2:30 a.m., Lalla said.

"It's not uncommon," Lalla said of the use of gas in a standoff. "It's certainly not the first choice. Obviously, we want them to voluntarily comply and come out."

"In situations like this," she added, "where someone is inside and won't come out and we don't know what they have inside, it's not uncommon to deploy the gas to make them come out as opposed to us coming in when we don't know what we're walking into."

Lalla said she doesn't believe any weapons were found in the room.
Thompson was checked by Johnson County Ambulance officials at the scene and taken to the Johnson County Jail. However, Lalla said after arriving at the jail, Thompson was taken to the hospital.

Lalla said she doesn't know what, if any charges, Thompson will face related to the standoff.

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