WESTERLY — A 48-year-old resident of Newton Avenue is facing charges in connection with a January standoff at his apartment in which the police said he fired 19 arrows at officers, including 13 through windows, one of which struck and damaged a police cruiser.
Westerly police on Monday arrested William A. Brown, of 23 Newton Ave., Apt. 3, on charges including disorderly conduct, destruction of public property with damages of over $100 and nine counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon. He was arraigned in Fourth Division District Court later in the day and released after posting a $1,000 surety bond.
Brown was taken into custody following a near five-hour standoff that began just after 9:15 p.m. on Jan. 8 and ended when he was forced out of the apartment by members of the Westerly Police Department Special Reaction Team using gas grenades at 2:15 a.m. the following morning.
The incident began when friends of Brown asked police to do a well-being check after receiving messages threatening self-harm. The friends told police that they believed Brown wanted an officer to shoot him.
When officers arrived, they were met by several arrows shot with a crossbow out a third-floor window, a police report said. Families were evacuated from neighboring buildings and apartments as a precaution.
No one was injured, the police said, but one of the arrows struck and damaged the door of a police cruiser.
Following a standoff, in which the police said Brown also attempted to fire arrows at officers through the apartment’s rear entrance, officers were eventually able to take him into custody. He was then taken to a nearby hospital by ambulance for mental health evaluation and treatment.
Brown is due in Washington County Superior Court for a felony screening on May 7.