Lower Burrell standoff ends peacefully
A Lower Burrell street was locked down for more than three hours on Sunday evening while police tried to reach a man barricaded inside his Madison Drive home.
Chief Tim Weitzel said the man's employer contacted police after the man reportedly called off work and said he planned to harm himself.
Because the man referenced having a loaded gun, police proceeded cautiously when they arrived at his brick home at 122 Madison Drive.
When attempts to contact him by phone were unsuccessful, officers with tactical gear and sniper-style weapons began to surround the house shortly after 6 p.m.
Neighbors said they heard police using a loudspeaker to repeatedly call for Robert Olinger to come outside. Weitzel declined to name the man, but county records indicate the house is owned by Olinger.
The situation was resolved peacefully when Olinger walked into his backyard about 9:30 p.m. and police took him into “protective custody.” Weitzel said he isn't certain whether Olinger was responding to police or simply planned to let his dog out.
Weitzel said Olinger was unarmed when he came outside.
No one was harmed. Weitzel said Olinger lives with his elderly mother, but she was not home at the time.
About 10 p.m. police walked the middle-aged man to an ambulance. He was not handcuffed.
Weitzel said Olinger was taken to Allegheny Valley Hospital in Harrison for a mental-health evaluation.
“He claims this was a big misunderstanding,” Weitzel said.
The chief said officers will speak to the man's employer and await a report from the hospital, but no charges were filed.
A woman who lives near Olinger said she was startled to see police with rifles in her backyard about 6:30 p.m. She said she stayed in her basement with her child to keep out of the line of possible fire.
“We're afraid to turn the lights on in the house,” said the woman, who asked not to be identified.
She said she'd seen Olinger doing yard work earlier in the day and nothing seemed amiss.
She expressed concern for her quiet neighborhood off Leechburg Road, noting a man shot his adult son during an argument in February 2013 around the corner on Jefferson Avenue.
“This was pretty scary,” she said.
Liz Hayes is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 724-226-4680.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- New Kensington to consider bake shop
- Alle-Kiski police try to get drivers to cool it
- New Kensington residents furious over road conditions
- Vandergrift works on flooding, sewage project issues
- New Ken police arrest cobbler robbery suspects
- Alle-Kiski farmers: Crops weather heavy rain
- Remains of Korean War soldier from Apollo identified
- Cost of Glade Run Lake dam to beat estimates
- Springdale counters despair with ‘HOPE’
- Keystone Markers give insights about towns but have fallen victim to time, theft or traffic accidents
- Man who threatened to jump from Tarentum Bridge in custody