Eastwood Motel disturbance ends calmly

Friday, August 14, 2009 | 6:14 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Four people were taken to the Columbia Police Department for questioning after a Friday morning standoff in room 33 of the Eastwood Motel.

Police were called to the motel to investigate a complaint involving loud yelling and screaming from the room and a man retrieving a handgun from a parked vehicle, according to a news release from the Police Department.

When officers arrived, they surrounded the room and attempted to contact the residents without success. The surrounding rooms were then evacuated.

Police then called a Code Red, which resulted in the arrival of SWAT and crisis negotiation team members. The Code Red was called because the names associated with the room had possible criminal backgrounds, there was a complaint of a handgun and the residents were unresponsive, according to the release.

Associates from another room were able to make contact with the residents of room 33 by phone and convince them to talk to the police.

The four males emerged from the room and denied claims of the disturbance and the presence of a weapon.

Sgt. Timothy Moriarity said police could not determine whether there was actually a disturbance, or confirm that the gun was used unlawfully.

“There were no injuries, and no one was claiming to be a victim,” he said.

Three of the four people were released after being identified and interviewed.

The fourth individual refused to identify himself, but was determined to be Hershael West Tanksley. He had a warrant for a probation and parole violation, the release states. Tanksley was transferred to the Boone County Jail.

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