Liberty County standoff ends without explosion

April 11, 2011 6:17:11 AM PDT
A tiny spark could have changed the outcome of a Liberty County standoff in a big way Sunday.

A man called 9-1-1 Sunday to report that he was going to take his own life. He told officials he was pouring gasoline on himself, his wife and their home and that he would ignite it.

Neighbors also called police as they watched the incident unfold, officials said.

The Liberty County Sheriff's Office rushed to the man's home on County Road 4262 in the Dayton area and there was an immediate standoff between the man and deputies.

The man told deputies he wanted to end his life and the life of his wife. He also told them he wanted to burn his wrecked manufactured home, which had been damaged by a fallen tree.

He was threatening to ignite the gasoline, plus he was armed with a machete.

Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and a Dayton Police Department officer arrived to assist LCSO deputies. Westlake Fire Department and Liberty County EMS also responded and a small command post was set up away from the scene.

Officials said that after about 20 minutes of intense verbal negotiations, the man surrendered to LCSO deputies.

He and his wife were both checked for injuries from their skin being exposed to gasoline.

The man was transported to the Liberty County Jail and will undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

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