Armed man in custody after entering storm drain near 1st and Walnut, suspect identified as Eli Swartzentruber | news - Indiana Public Media

2022-09-24 09:38:44 By : Mr. YIFAN YIFAN

Choose which station to support!

Choose which station to support!

BPD: The man is currently in police custody and is being removed from the storm drain. (Clayton Baumgarth)

UPDATED with release from the Bloomington Police 12:16 A.M.

Bloomington police sent a release at 12:16 am that said the armed man detained Tuesday evening had been identified as Eli Swartzentruber.

According to BPD, they got a call Tuesday morning that a man was swinging a metal bar at a group of people at Seminary Park. While on the way, officers got another call that the suspect had retrieved a hatchet from a car in the Kroger parking lot across the street and had thrown it at the group.

When officers arrived, witnesses told them the man had left and gone south toward 1st Street, according to Bloomington Police.

Officers searched the area and found clothing that matched the suspect’s description hanging near a large storm drain on 1st Street.

The officers yelled into the drain telling the man to come out.

According to BPD, the suspect responded telling them he had a rifle and would shoot them and not to follow him in. 

The officers then called for backup.

The Bloomington Incident Critical Response Team and a SWAT Team from the Indiana State Police responded. Employees from Bloomington Utilities also came with diagrams of the underground storm drain system. 

Officers found an unfired rifle cartridge underneath a manhole cover they removed on Smith Avenue, according to BPD.

The Critical Incidence Response Team used noise-flash diversionary devices, creating loud banging sounds in the area.

The SWAT team deployed a Bloomington Utilities camera in the drain connecting North Indiana Avenue and East 6th Street, under what police said is Kirkwood Ave.

With the camera, police said they spotted a man in the drains who matched the suspect’s description. 

According to police, the suspect said he would exit north, but then destroyed the camera and went southwest, further into the drains.

A release from BPD said officers sent a K-9 in and caught the suspect. When they got him out of the drains, an ambulance took him to IU Health Hospital for treatment, according to BPD. 

Following treatment, Swartzentruber was taken to the Monroe County Jail and was remanded for attempted battery with a deadly weapon, a level 5 felony, and intimidation, a level 6 felony.

Police said the investigation is ongoing and there could be more charges filed.

The BPD release said Swartzentruber is a person who is experiencing homelessness.

Swartzentruber has an outstanding arrest warrant in Daviess County for Battery Against a Public Safety Official, according to BPD. 

No firearms were found in the drains, according to BPD. But they did find a hand scythe, machete, and rifle cartridges.

An armed man has been detained by Bloomington Police after a multi-hour standoff in a storm drain near campus.

Suspect has been detained, and an ambulance is on the way

The IU Bloomington campus issued a safety alert that an “armed subject” was spotted entering a storm drain near 1st and Walnut. The alert came about 12:30 p.m.

Police arrived at a drain exit in Dunn Meadow near Franklin Hall and continue to monitor it. Police say they believe the subject is cornered.

UPDATE: Authorities keep megaphoning into the tunnel "Come out with your hands up. We don't want you to get hurt, we want to talk this out." Also offering water and sending a wired phone. Video at Indiana Ave. @theclaygerbomb

At 1:40 p.m. police said they began evacuating Franklin Hall at the southeast door.

Classes in Franklin Hall have been canceled until Wednesday.

City utilities employees and police were seen at the intersection of South Walnut and East Second Street around 2:30 this afternoon. Two armed officers entered the sewer. 

BPD says people may hear loud bangs and see smoke rising from sewer grates.

Police activities remain ongoing. People south of 3rd Street to the area of 1st/Walnut May hear loud bangs in the near future. We ask that everyone continue to avoid the area.

Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton says the Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) is on the scene and that the individual is known to the police.

In a tweet, IUPD says the campus community is safe as they monitor an exit to the storm system on the IU campus.

IU Campus Bus service indicates stops at Sample gates, the Memorial Union, and Collins LLC will be excluded from service for the remainder of today.

This story will be updated.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

Indiana Public Media is the home of WFIU Public Radio WTIU Public Television, including your favorite programming from NPR and PBS. Learn More

© 2022, The Trustees of Indiana University • Copyright Complaints

1229 East Seventh Street, Bloomington, Indiana 47405