Monday, April 11, 2011

Pepper spray ends tense standoff in Washington

Police in Spokane, Washington, recently used pepper spray to bring a potentially dangerous situation to an end. Officers encountered a suicidal man holding a loaded gun to his wife but eventually surrendered to police without incident, ABC affiliate KXLY reports.

Authorities were called to the house of 41-year-old James Vandyke around 7:30 p.m. and encountered the hostage situation. Despite numerous orders from police to drop the gun and let his wife go, Vandyke refused. Even though he eventually released his wife from the house, he still would not come out and refused to drop the gun.

After they obtained a search warrant and saw that negotiations were going nowhere, the police decided to take action, the news source reports. They discharged pepper spray into the home, which forced Vandyke out and allowed him to be taken into custody.

Though pepper spray is a vital non-lethal part of police officers' arsenals, it can also be a useful personal safety tool for the general public. Experts recommend practicing beforehand so that if it ever needs to be used, it can be discharged correctly. 

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