Standoff Ends with Suspect's Surrender - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

05/03/04

Standoff Ends with Suspect's Surrender

A Burton man is facing charges after pulling a gun on a school bus driver. The domestic dispute kept sheriff's deputies busy for almost four hours as they tried to get the man to come out of his house. It all started this morning, when a neighbor called 911 after seeing a man run onto the school bus with a gun and then run back into his mobile home.

"I looked out the window and I saw all of these police officers, and I thought 'Oh my God,'" recalled neighbor Joyce Loder.

Residents in Hilanda II mobile home park in Burton, SC, were forced out of their homes, while deputies secured the area. "They told us to get away from the door and so we got away from the door," said Loder. "Then they told us to get out and we got out."

Police described the situation with the 21-year old suspect, Reginald Watson. "Reginald Watson came from the house, pistol in hand, came onto the school bus," said Lt. Allen Horton, a Beaufort County sheriff's deputy. "It was a heated exchange and he took the gun away and went into his house."

Watson's girlfriend, Dawn Knicks, and her 18-month old child were the only ones on the bus at the time. They were not injured during the incident. But it took hours to get the situation cleared up. "We had the hostage negotiation team, the special response team, K-9 unit, we had probably two dozen officers that maintained a close perimeter around the house, while the negotiations went on," said Lt. Horton.

It took deputies just over four hours to get Watson to come out of his home. "I think the negotiations went about three hours before he really acknowledged and got into conversation with the negotiators," said Lt. Horton. "Once there was conversation, probably 15, 20 minutes, he came to the front door and slowly surrendered himself."

Reported by: Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com

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