UW student Matt Rooney’s Sunday evening was disrupted suddenly by a knock on his window that ended with the 21-year-old junior having to leave his apartment for the remainder of the evening.
“I was watching South Park with my pup and a man knocked on my window and said, ‘You need to come outside right now,’” Rooney said.
The man, a Laramie Police officer, informed Rooney that he needed to leave immediately with haste, with no time to explain why.
An unspecified number of residents on the 1800 block of S 10th Street were evacuated from their homes on Sunday night when Laramie Police responded to a domestic disturbance where the suspect refused to leave his apartment and was known to possess firearms. Brian Menning, 34, was arrested without incident at the conclusion of the disturbance, where Menning was said to have threatened responding police officers and his family, who were inside the apartment with him.
Officers from the Laramie Police Department, Albany Country Sheriff’s Office and LPD multi-jurisdictional Special Response Team responded to the incident beginning around 9:30 p.m. and cleared one square block to establish a perimeter for safety reasons. The evacuation lasted until approximately 4 a.m., when residents were allowed to return to their homes.
Menning was charged with committing a terroristic threat, defined by the LPD as when a suspect “threatens to commit any violent felony with the intent to cause an evacuation of a building, place of assembly, facility of public transportation, or otherwise to cause serious public inconvenience, or reckless disregard of the risk of causing such inconvenience.”
A person convicted of a terroristic threat is guilty of a felony and can be punished by imprisonment for not more than three years.
Commander Mitchell Cushman of the Laramie Police Department said he could not explain specifics of the threats as those details will be part of evidence in Menning’s trial. Comm. Cushman also said he did not have specifics of the family members involved.
Cushman said the incident came to an end after negotiation policies and protocols were executed by the officers and the suspect was “receptive” to talking with police.
“It didn’t escalate anymore than what had already occurred and eventually he came out; which is exactly what we want,” Comm. Cushman said.
Cushman said although negotiations take a considerable amount of time, the technique is effective.
“There is a whole philosophy on negotiation that I can’t go into much, but if the right cirumcstances exist, it’s 97 percent effective,” Comm. Cushman said.