LEWISTON — A standoff that developed between police and a man inside the Morning Star Motel Tuesday night ended peacefully early Wednesday morning.
Jeff Sewell, 43, of Lewiston, was arrested at about 1 a.m., six hours after the standoff began. He has been charged with criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon and causing a police standoff.
According to Lewiston Police, Sewell had been living at the hotel.
Starting at about 7 p.m., police had blocked off a section of Lisbon Road near the motel and surrounded the building with guns drawn.
As midnight approached, police ordered bystanders away from the scene and began to evacuate the motel. Shortly after, the suspect gave himself up and was arrested, police said.
Lewiston police were joined by the Maine State Police Tactical Team, who went to the scene with at least one armored vehicle to assist in the operation.
One motel occupant, Richard Lamothe, said the incident began when he was threatened by the man with the gun. Lamothe said he argued with the man and notified motel management after the man began to load a rifle.
"I don't think the guy's out to hurt anybody," Lamothe said. "Hopefully, he can get the help he needs." He said he had met the man before and that they know each other from being in the motel.
Lamothe said he just wanted to go back to his room.
Police were observed trying to contact the subject in the hotel via bullhorn, and apparently had called him on the phone.
Inbound and outbound traffic along Lisbon Road was diverted around the scene as more officers continued to arrive.
A man who was staying at the motel said he had no idea anything was going on until the standoff was under way.
"I heard a bullhorn," he said. "I went outside to check it out and there were police out there. It was a little shocking."
Police tried to communicate the suspect via bullhorn until about 8:30 p.m., the source said, when it went silent.
Inside his room, the source said he had not been contacted by police or motel management advising him whether he should stay in his room or flee. He said he had Netflix and intended to stay inside until the standoff was over.
"That's my plan," he said. "I have no place in particular I need to be."
The standoff disrupted traffic along the busy through-way between Lewiston and Lisbon. As police attempted to communicate with the suspect, there were little dramas on the periphery.
Midway through the standoff, a man driving a tractor-trailer inadvertently drove around the police roadblock. He proceeded toward Lisbon but then turned around and drove back to the police line. There, officers explained what was happening and sent the driver on his way.