The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

May 6, 2014

Standoff with police follows dispute

HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP — An argument among friends in the wee hours of Sunday erupted into a standoff between a man and Mercer County’s tactical team.

Police said Charles G. Wellen, 27, of 125 Wasser Bridge Road, Hempfield Township, fired three times in his friend’s direction during an argument, barricaded himself in his home for about four hours and threatened to shoot police.

Chief Dave Morgan said “they had been drinking,” but did not comment on the reason for the argument.

“Alcohol and guns do not mix,” Morgan said.

Police talked to the victim around 1:30 a.m. and found out that Wellen shot at him, apparently in an attempt to scare him off, police said.

After calling Wellen at a number his friend provided with no response, police went to his home. There, someone close to Wellen said he threatened her through text messages and told her he’d shoot police, police said.

The county’s Critical Incident Response Team was called as a result of that and a report from Mercer County 911 that a mental health agency said Wellen called and threatened to harm himself and shoot at officers if they tried to come in or even came to his door, police said.

CIRT members negotiated with Wellen, who surrendered around 5:30 a.m. without further incident, police said. Officials did not comment on the details of the negotiation.

Wellen was taken to a local hospital for a mental health evaluation. Police said charges could be filed today.

Police from Greenville and Pymatuning and South Pymatuning townships assisted at the scene.

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