published Saturday, November 12th, 2011

DeKalb County stand-off ends with no injuries

A stand-off and fire Friday in DeKalb County, Ala., ended with no injuries or arrests, police said.

At about 2 p.m. CST the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office received a call about a man threatening suicide on County Road 777 in the Ider area, Sheriff Jimmy Harris said in a news release.

Mervin Hanawalt, 65, had barricaded himself inside a house with a gun and a police officer talked to him throughout the afternoon, Harris said.

During this time, several holes dug into the house’s floor and tunnels burrowed from the holes to the outside of the house were discovered, Harris said. A few hours after officers got to the house they noticed smoke. Hanawalt was inside one of the holes, and the smoke became so overwhelming that he reportedly started to crawl out of one of the tunnels, Harris said.

Officials were able to get Hanawalt to safety, but the house completely burned. Hanawalt was taken to DeKalb Regional Medical Center to be examined by medical professions, though he seemed to be uninjured, Harris said.

There are no charges pending relating to the incident, but Hanawalt had been arrested for third-degree domestic violence on Wednesday and posted bond Thursday, Harris said.

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