CORTLAND — A wanted man on parole from Broome County armed with a handgun barricaded himself and an acquaintance in a room at the Cortland Hampton Inn this morning, and police were waiting him out as of late this morning, according to city police. Negotiations with the man were still on going as of 10 a.m.
The man is a parole absconder, according to the Press & Sun-Bulletin, which is a person who stops seeing his or her parole officer.
The Broome County Sheriff’s Department spotted the man at the Walmart in Johnson City and began the pursuit, Cortland Police Chief F. Michael Catalano said at a 10 a.m. news conference.
The man and the woman with him drove up from Broome County got off Interstate 81 at Exit 10 in Polkville and entered the city of Cortland at about 3:50 a.m., pursued by Broome County sheriffs, and then Cortland City Police and others.
Police attempted several times to blow out his tires and were eventually successful on the Port Watson Street bridge, blowing out his front two tires. However, Guerrera said the man continued to drive on the flat tires, eventually making it to the Hampton Inn on River Street. Guerrera said he got to the hotel at about 4:15 a.m., where he had already had a room rented at least a day prior.
All guests of the hotel were evacuated. Some waited outside. Some left, and others were being accommodated at the Ramada Inn, near the Hampton Inn on River Street, Guerrera said. Guests’ personal items were removed for the hotel so they could find accommodations elsewhere and get on with their day, he added.
City police, Cortland County Sheriff’s officers, Broome County Sheriff’s officers, state police and Homer police were at the Hampton Inn this morning. River Street was closed at the intersections of Clinton Avenue and Cleveland Street.
Guerrera could not say that the man’s acquaintance was a hostage, but said the person was upset and obviously did not want to be there.