The incident started around 9:15 p.m. Monday night near Broadway and Iris Avenue in Boulder.
A man called police and said that he and his wife were being held hostage inside of a home and that the suspect was armed with a stick and a knife.
The suspect, identified as John Lee Fleming, lived in the home with the man and his wife, documents showed.
What led to the 911 call?
According to the victim, the three of them arrived home around 7:30 p.m. and Fleming was drinking whiskey and was agitated about a woman. The victim told police that Fleming started swinging around a collapsible-type baton, hitting walls, and making threatening statements, describing how he would kill them, or kill any cops who may respond
Because of the threats, the victims told police they barricaded themselves in their bedroom. As they were going into the room, the man told police that Fleming struck him in the back of the head with the baton.
What happened when police arrived?
When the Boulder Police Department arrived at the home, they said Fleming was at the front door. One of the officer’s said he could see the victims through the window.
The officer described them as, “scared, or looking like they were about to be murdered” and the “clearest indicator of fear ever seen,” the arrest documents showed.
Officers tried to get into the house to free the hostages while Fleming was shouting at them. Eventually, one of the officers kicked the door open.
While police were at the door with Fleming, the victims, one of whom was wheelchair-bound, escaped from the window with the help of other officers.
Once officers were inside the doorway, they could see Fleming holding a large metal object over his head in what they described as a striking manner. One of the officers deployed an electronic control weapon while the other officer showed his firearm.
Simultaneously, court documents said Fleming “doused” the officers with pepper spray, blinding one of them. The other officer discharged his firearm, and it did not hit Fleming.
The officer who was blinded by the pepper spray was helped to safety by the other officer, and after learning the hostages were safely out of the home, the officers set up a perimeter.
While outside of the home, the victims told police that Fleming had numerous firearms hidden in the house, described as “ghost guns”. They also said they had observed Fleming making explosives and had numerous knives, batons, cans of pepper spray, and booby traps.
The BPD SWAT team was called and after negotiations, Fleming eventually surrendered.
Fleming is facing charges of second-degree assault, menacing, resisting arrest and obstructing a peace officer.
After getting a search warrant, the Boulder County Bomb Squad arrived at the home and searched it. No explosives or booby traps were located, documents showed. However, officers did find “replica firearms and swords.”
The officer who fired his service weapon has been put on administrative leave, per department policy, and the Boulder County Critical Incident Response Team is investigating the use of force.