Sheriff's Department releases further details on Friday standoff

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Putnam County Sheriff's Department has released further details on a seven-hour standoff Friday that resulted in the suicide of a Stilesville man.

A release from the department said Dennis Dean, 46, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at 10:38 p.m. Moments before, Dean had released his wife unharmed from the camper where he had barricaded her and himself just before 3 p.m.

Authorities were alerted to the situation by a family member of Dean's wife, who reported "that Dean was holding her inside a secluded mobile home near U.S. 40 and C.R. 725E," the release said.

Officers from the Putnam County Sheriff's Department responded to the scene and verified the situation, and then the county's Emergency Response Team (ERT) was dispatched to the scene.

Dean, who had been released from the Indiana Department of Corrections on Wednesday, had gone to the Putnam County Sheriff's Department on Friday to register as a sex offender, as required by state law. He listed the Stilesville area residence as his home. A friend of Dean was allowing him to live in the mobile home.

Dean had been convicted in 2001 of sexual misconduct with a minor, and was given a 10-year suspended sentence. He was arrested in 2008 and convicted of failure to register as a sex offender. He had been released on parole Wednesday for those charges.

At the scene, police found out Dean was in possession of a Glock handgun he had taken from his friend's home. Negotiators from PCSD, Detective Michael Biggs and Officer Nate O'Hair, responded to the area and contacted Dean.

"We had negotiators from our department in contact with Dean through the entire ordeal," Sheriff Steve Fenwick said. "At about 10:30 p.m., an agreement was reached with Dennis to allow his wife to leave the trailer, and then he was going to surrender himself to Detective Biggs."

Dean's wife left the mobile home and got into a vehicle, but Dean stayed inside and shot himself at 10:38 p.m.

During the standoff, Dean made threatening statements against himself and warned police to stay away from the dwelling.

"It is believed Dean was upset over the impending break-up of his marriage, and he told police he did not want to return to prison," the release said. "His wife had gone to the mobile home to speak with Dean, and she told police she feared Dean would harm himself when she left the residence."

Once police heard the shot, the emergency response team quickly entered the home and secured the area. During the long hours of the standoff, the ERT was able to maneuver an entry team through the wooded area around the home and position themselves next to the dwelling.

Putnam County Coroner Thomas Miller was called to the scene and confirmed that Dean died of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head.

"Everyone worked well together," Fenwick said.

About 30 police officers from multiple local agencies were at the scene.

The ERT is comprised of members of the Greencastle Police Department and the Sheriff's Department. Assistance also came from the Fillmore Police Department, Bainbridge Fire Department responding with the Unified Command Center vehicle, Operation Life ambulance personnel, and the Indiana State Police at Putnamville, which had a SWAT unit on standby. Assistance for the victim and family members was provided by Putnam County Family Support Services and by the Greencastle Police Chaplain Jim Amis.

Fenwick also praised Putnam County Dispatch for handling the radio traffic once the initial call came in. Fenwick also thanks the Greencastle McDonald's and Dominos Pizza for delivering food and beverages to personnel at the scene.

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  • convicted child molester commits suicide? i just cant seem to muster up any sympathy for the pervert. parents can rest a little easier tonight knowing that there is at least one less predator on the streets.

    -- Posted by all8upchamp on Tue, Jun 2, 2009, at 10:01 PM
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