On guard: Emergency Services Unit officers made Saturday’s arrest using a ballistic shield.
On guard: Emergency Services Unit officers made Saturday’s arrest using a ballistic shield.

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Man arrested after threatening police with weapon

Published 10:07pm Monday, July 15, 2013

Clanton Police Department’s Emergency Services Unit helped with the arrest of a man who locked himself inside a residence after threatening officers over the weekend.

Police responded to a noise complaint at a residence off Yellowleaf Road on Saturday night and asked the man, who was at a relative’s home, to turn down his music, CPD Capt. David Clackley said.

But another complaint was made shortly thereafter, sending officers back to the residence.

This time, the man refused to cooperate.

“He brandished his machete and told them he wasn’t coming out and they weren’t coming in–to get off his property,” Clackley said.

Police couldn’t leave the subject at the residence because it was unclear whether he would pose a threat to anyone else in the home or his neighbors.

After trying to contact the man by phone and loudspeaker, the Emergency Services Unit breached the door of the residence to try to establish communication. The man presented himself, unarmed, so officers took the opportunity to apprehend him.

“We were just going to initiate contact with him at that time, but once we had him in the open, we decided to go ahead and bring him down,” Clackley said.

Raymond Earl Cobern, 46, was arrested and charged with menacing, resisting arrest and violating Clanton’s noise ordinance.

Clackley said the situation, which resulted in no injuries and ended about midnight, is a good example of the usefulness of the ESU. Clanton’s and Jemison’s police departments sponsor the unit.

Had the unit not been available, patrol officers would have been forced to make contact with the subject with no protection and no weapons other than their firearms.

Instead, the ESU allows responding officers ballistic vests and shields, and weapons capable of non-deadly force.

“It’s as much for his safety as it is for the officers,” Clackley said.

Irritant gas is a common resource for officers in situations such as Saturday night, but Clackley said they were hesitant to employ gas at the residence for fear other relatives were home. Also, officers had no reason to believe the man was armed with a gun, though some belonging to another relative were recovered from the residence.

ESU officers can also use a gun that shoots a bean-bag type projectile, good for forcing a subject to comply while not causing lethal injuries.

“A lot of these situations can be resolved without us going into the house with a bunch of unknowns,” Clackley said but added that Saturday night was an exception to the rule. “When he refused to communicate with us, we had no choice but to try to make contact.”

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