Frisco Police: Standoff started with 911 call reporting ‘threatening’ man

Law enforcement officers take cover behind a police vehicle while negotiating with an armed man who refused to exit his black pickup truck on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023.
Ryan Spencer/Summit Daily News

The four-hour police standoff outside a Frisco supermarket on Wednesday, Sept. 13, began when someone called 911 to report a man was threatening them in the parking lot, according to a news release from the town issued Thursday.

Frisco Police Chief Tom Wickman said on the day of the standoff that the incident started when police stopped a black Ram 1500 that was driving erratically in the parking lot outside the Safeway on Colorado Highway 9. 

Wickman clarified Thursday that the North Carolina man Frisco police arrested after the standoff had allegedly threatened someone and then started driving erratically, prompting the 911 call and the police response.

The Frisco Police Department has not yet identified the man, who allegedly had two knives and told police he had a gun in his vehicle. But throughout the standoff, police used the first name “Craig” when talking to the man over a megaphone. 

The department has sought, but has not yet received, a search warrant to look for weapons in the vehicle, the release states. The man remains in custody, according to the news release.

“Currently, the Frisco Police Department is declining to release the suspect’s name or any other personal information, as this information has no inherent benefit to the public at this time and could compromise the ongoing investigation,” the news release states.

The officer who responded to the 911 call determined that based on the 27-year-old man’s behavior and lack of cooperation that further law enforcement support would be required to keep the man, the public and the police safe, according to the news release.

Two officers talk while one points a rifle toward an armed man in a black pickup truck involved in a stand-off at the Safeway parking lot in Frisco on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023.
Andrew Maciejewski/Summit Daily News

Eventually, the man’s vehicle was “pinched” into place by an armored vehicle at front end and a Frisco Police Department vehicle at the back end, the release states. This tactic allowed law enforcement to establish a perimeter and prevent the man, who allegedly claimed to be armed and was unwilling to leave his vehicle, from driving away and putting the public and law enforcement at further risk, according to the news release.

“We were negotiating with him for hours,” Wickman said the day of the standoff. “He was very erratic up and down. He said at one point ‘kill the police.'”

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For hours, the Systemwide Mental Assessment Response Team, a Summit County Sheriff’s Office program that deploys social workers alongside law enforcement, negotiated with the man.

Loud music could be heard from within the pickup truck for much of the standoff. A few times, the pickup truck appeared to turn its engine on, and once or twice the man honked his horn. All the while, police continued to shout orders, telling the man to turn down the music so they could talk and to drop his weapons out of the window.

Ryan Spencer/Summit Daily News
Frisco Police Chief Tom Wickman (left) stands behind officers as they secure handcuffs on a man who they engaged in a four hour stand off with on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023.
Ryan Spencer/Summit Daily News

The standoff was resolved without injury to the man or police around 11:30 a.m., when law enforcement officers deployed chemical munitions to force the man from his vehicle. The man was treated on scene for exposure to pepper spray and tear gas, according to the news release.

The standoff closed several local businesses and a section of Colorado Highway 9 near the supermarket for several hours. 

The Frisco Police Department is continuing to investigate the incident, according to the news release. Summit Daily has filed a records request seeking the police report associated with the standoff.

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