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Gelotte enters guilty plea in June standoff

Chad A. Gelotte

A Warren man who barricaded himself in his residence last June, threatened police during a stand off and required the activation of the Pennsylvania State Police Special Emergency Response Team has pled guilty.

Chad A. Gelotte, 48, 215 Canton St., pled guilty to terroristic threats – graded as a felony – as well as misdemeanor charges of terroristic threats, resisting arrest, recklessly endangering another person and simple assault.

In exchange for the plea, the following charges were not prosecuted: Aggravated assault, unlawful restraint/serious bodily injury, two counts of unlawful restraint of minor, simple assault and two counts of endangering welfare of a child.

District Attorney Rob Greene noted that law enforcement and the other victims were consulted in the matter.

Hammond detailed the maximum possible sentences, which totaled 18 years in prison and fines up to $40,000.

After a more than six-hour standoff, police used diversionary devices and chemical agents at the scene in order to affect Gelotte’s arrest back in June.

Numerous agencies — city police, the Pennsylvania State Police Special Emergency Response Team (SERT), Warren-based state police, Warren County Sheriff’s Office, Conewango Township Police, Warren Fire Department and EmergyCare — responded to the scene in addition to multiple state police armored vehicles.

During the incident, which started shortly after noon on June 10 and was not resolved until after 6 p.m., several surrounding blocks were closed to traffic and neighbors were reportedly evacuated.

Police said that Gelotte was not injured during the arrest, which was executed by State Police SERT.

Police received a domestic violence complaint which alleged a June 8 incident.

Police allege Gelotte physically assaulted the victim and “left many physical injuries that were observed on the victim.”

“This involved facial injuries from (Gelotte) sitting on top of the victim’s chest and hitting her with a closed hand multiple times. (Gelotte) then threw the victim down a set of outside stairs causing injury.”

He then allegedly screwed doors shut “from the exterior, preventing her and the children’s escape…”

Police subsequently took the victim to Warren General Hospital for evaluation.

Officers then “attempted to arrest” Gelotte, the affidavit details. “At that time officers were unable to make entry into the residence to effectively arrest the defendant. Officers were able to see the defendant inside the residence and communicated with him verbally.”

Police detail that Gelotte was “told multiple times” to come outside and responded that “he was not coming out and to come back with a warrant. He then stated that if we came inside, ‘We better bring the body bags.'”

At that stage, police report, Gelotte walked away from the front door, which police tried unsuccessfully to kick open.

“Due to the comments the defendant had made and the information of firearms in the home,” police state in the affidavit, “(police were) forced to secure a perimeter and request assistance” from the Pennsylvania SERT.

Gelotte “barricaded himself inside the residence and did speak via telephone to on-scene negotiators,” the affidavit states. “During these conversations, the defendant continued to make threats and refused to come out of his residence. Officers on scene then evacuated and secured a two-block radius of the defendant’s residence and could not allow people that lived in the area (to) return to their homes.”

Police noted that the SERT “used non-lethal munitions to take custody” of Gelotte.

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