Neighbors return home after day-long police standoff - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Neighbors return home after day-long police standoff


MADISON (WKOW)-- People who live in the building where Friday night's police standoff took place are relieved they can finally go back home. The incident happened at an apartment complex on East Gorham Street.

Police say the suspect Steven Lyons refused to come out of his home. Investigators were trying to talk to him about a possible arson inside the apartment complex. They were finally able to take him into custody around 5:00 pm Friday.

It was a long day for the renters of 16 Madison apartments. Many were forced to spend the day under the hot sun.

"I need to take a shower. I've been sweating all day and I'm hungry and kind of tired of being on my feet all day," Joao Reyes says.

The long day started with an early morning wake up call. Fire fighters were called after the suspect allegedly started a fire in the apartment stairwell.

"About four this morning we all got sent out into the picnic area because a fire alarm went off," neighbor Andrew Zabawa says.

The fire was quickly extinguished. Residents expected to be let back in within a few hours, but a police standoff kept them out of their homes for nearly 14 hours.

"It's too hot. We've got to get out of here. People were asking, when is this going to be over? We're like we gotta be patient you know," neighbor Joao Reyes says.

The inconvenience spread to nearby motorists when police decided to close down Gorham and Johnson street. They were afraid that the situation might jeopardize the safety of nearby drivers.

"It's pretty scary. I mean, I have an 8-year-old and thank god she's in Summer school right now," Zabawa says.

Neighbors say closing Johnson and Gorham street backed up traffic for several blocks. They say it even caused an accident a few blocks down. They also said the two streets draw a fair amount of traffic on a good day, but closing parts of them down made the congestion much worse.

Despite all the inconvenience, several residents are happy with the way things turned out. They're happy that police removed a renter that made them feel unsafe and they did it without harming anyone else.

"I congratulated the police officers for the good job they did and I told them to keep up the good work. They were fantastic," Reyes says.

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