Update 6 p.m.
Ashland police said they took the man who barricaded himself inside a vacant home to Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford for an evaluation after ending a seven-hour standoff earlier today. Criminal charges were expected to follow, a press release said.
Police have not yet released the man's name but said he had an extensive criminal history, including menacing with a weapon, criminal trespass, resisting arrest, DUII, possession of marijuana, cruelty to animals, obstructing, battery of a police officer, theft and assault. The release said the man barricaded himself in the home in the 600 block of East Main Street after making statements concerning the well-being and safety of other people, prompting a SWAT response.
After a seven-hour standoff, police were able to enter the residence safely and take the man into protective custody, the release said.
Update 3:35 p.m.
Ashland police Chief Terry Holderness said the SWAT operation is over and no one was hurt during the incident. He declined to give further details -- such as whether anyone was taken into custody -- until a press release is issued later this afternoon.
Update 3:05 p.m.
Ashland police Chief Terry Holderness said the SWAT operation near the Ashland Safeway stemmed from a Monday report about a man suspected of squatting inside a nearby residence.
When police made contact with the man, he barricaded himself inside the home. Ashland police requested the help of Medford SWAT, as it wasn't known whether the man had weapons inside with him.
Update 2:43 p.m.:
According to neighbors, police blockades have been up in the area since 9:30 a.m., and SWAT have been on scene since 12:30 p.m.
It has not been confirmed whether anyone else is in the home in question, or if anyone has been hurt.
SWAT officers are currently moving toward the residence with their weapons drawn.
Police and SWAT from Medford and Ashland police departments have blocked off several streets near the Ashland Safeway and are trying to get in touch with a man named Robert inside a residence.
“Can you give us a sign that you're OK? Can you open the blinds. We can't go away. We don't want to hurt anybody,” a police negotiator on scene said, using a megaphone. “Robert, we're here to help you. Robert, you don't have to be afraid.”
The home is an an alleyway between C Street and East Main Street connecting Fifth and Sixth streets, also near the Ashland Cemetery.
East Main Street is blocked off between Sixth and Seventh streets, as is the C Street stretch.
Ashland High School Principal Michelle Zundel sent an email to parents saying students at the high school are not in danger, as police have created a safe perimeter and detours. Her email said the man was suspected of having weapons in the home.
There is no information yet on the home's exact address or whether anyone has been hurt. We'll continue to update with more information.
— Staff reports