Since January, there have been five police standoffs in the area, including the two incidents that happened this week in Middletown and Franklin Twp.
Here is a quick recap of the incidents so far in 2018:
Jan. 12-14: Liberty Twp.
Butler County Sheriff’s deputies and other agencies were involved in a 30-hour standoff at a Liberty Twp. apartment complex where a 10-year-old boy was held against his will that began with the door being opened for the suspect, Donald Tobias Gazaway, 31.
He was let into the apartment late at night by residents of the apartment at the Springs of Liberty Township and there was an altercation. The adults, including the alleged hostage’s mother, fled. But Gazaway took the child hostage before surrendering hours later, according to police.
During the standoff, Gazaway demanded thousands of dollars from the 10-year-old boy’s mother. About 20 shots were reported fired during the incident.
Gazaway was charged with kidnapping, felonious assault and inducing panic and was later indicted on additional charges of aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery and two counts of having weapons under disability. He is in the Butler County Jail under a $1,001,000 bond and is scheduled to stand trial for Oct. 15 in Butler County Common Pleas Court.
Feb. 1: Middletown
A Middletown man who allegedly fired several shots at his father in their residence on Feb. 1 caused a 90-minute standoff with Middletown police when he refused to come out of his home on Yankee Road.
Hacker ran out of the residence after police officers fired tear gas into the residence. Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw said the incident cost the city about $3,000 in public safety salaries for the 25 police officers and 10 firefighter/paramedics to respond to the scene.
According to Middletown Municipal Court records, Hacker, 46, pleaded guilty to three misdemeanors — using weapons while intoxicated and received a 180-day jail term and a suspended $250 fine; inducing panic and received a suspended 180-day jail term and a suspended $250 fine; and pointing/discharging a weapon within the city limits, receiving a suspended 30-day jail term and a suspended $100 fine.
The felony charge of weapons under disability was withdrawn at the request of the city prosecutor.
June 13: Trenton
A Middletown man has been indicted on multiple charges, including aggravated murder and murder for allegedly killing two women before turning the gun on himself during a standoff in Trenton on June 13.
James Edward Geran, 45, is accused of killing Megan Motter, his “business associate in criminal activity” and dumping her body on the side of the road in Madison Twp. before killing his girlfriend’s mother, Sharon McCleary, during the standoff with deputies, according to the Butler County Sheriff’s Office. He is being held in the Butler County Jail under a $4 million bond pending an arraignment hearing in Butler County Common Pleas Court.
In addition to the two murder charges, Geran was also indicted on four other charges: felonious assault, improperly discharging a firearm at or into a habitation, and two counts of having weapons under disability.
Geran allegedly shot at deputies who knocked on the door of the Sal Boulevard apartment. Deputies returned fire, shooting about three rounds of bullets as they took cover, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Inside, Geran had three hostages: his 26-year-old girlfriend, Gina McCleary; her 27-year-old sister, Tammy Davis; and their mother, 63-year-old Sharon McCleary, according to the sheriff’s office. Over the course of about two hours, Geran continued to fire between five and eight times at the deputies outside, but negotiators were able to talk him into releasing the sisters.
Negotiators were eventually able to talk Geran out of the home. After letting the second hostage go, Geran shot himself in the chin. He was taken to a Dayton hospital for treatment and has since been transferred to jail.
July 4 & 5: Franklin Twp. and Middletown
In a period of less than 24 hours, a Middletown man was the suspect in two standoffs with police.
Ebb Duhamel eluded officers from the Warren County Tactical Response Team at a residence in the 7300 block of Mentz Road in Franklin Twp. after residents said he was threatening them with a gun on July 4. When officers entered the home, Duhamel eluded them during the commotion and fireworks of the Fourth of July holiday.
Warren County Sheriff’s Office put out a release on July 5 seeking the public’s assistance in locating him and that he could be “armed and dangerous.”
They also notified Middletown police that he may be in the city.
A Middletown police officer spotted Duhamel at a residence in the 600 block of Baltimore Street shortly before 1 p.m. in Middletown. A
fter he ran inside, officers and neighbors said they heard what sounded like a gunshot, prompting officers to clear four adjacent houses. Officers and the city’s SWAT team surrounded the house as the temperatures approached triple digits, trying to get Duhamel to surrender.
The SWAT team deployed gas and entered the house where they safely arrested Duhamel. During the incident, three people were arrested for disorderly conduct and misconduct during an emergency.
On July 6, Duhamel entered guilty pleas in Middletown Municipal Court. Judge James Sherron sentenced him to 180 days in jail for inducing panic, and 90 days each for the resisting arrest and obstruction of official business charges. All of the charges were misdemeanors.
Duhamel did not stay in the Middletown jail long as he was transferred to Warren County where he faces charges for the standoff with police Wednesday night, as well as other charges in Franklin Municipal Court. He was booked into the Warren County Jail Friday afternoon.
He is expected to be video arraigned on Tuesday in Franklin on charges of aggravated menacing, inducing panic and violating a protection order for the July 4 standoff, and a domestic violence charge and violating two protection orders.