Police storm house, subject not inside

SWAT members outside a home on the city's northeast side on Jan. 14, 2016 as police investigate a barricaded subject.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) After hours of trying to make contact with a barricaded subject, Fort Wayne police stormed a house on the city’s northeast side only to find nobody was home.

Police were first called just after noon Thursday to the 5900 block of Heywood Cove after a report of a bomb threat. However, when officers arrived they changed tactics to try to contact a man who barricaded himself inside.

Fort Wayne Police Department spokesperson Michael Joyner said the situation started after the man’s foster family tried to serve him a restraining order. Police said the man threw an explosive, which they believe was a firework of some kind, at a neighbor. No one was injured from the explosive.

Joyner said the restraining order was supposed to be given with law enforcement present, but it wasn’t. Joyner also said the man had a knife.

As more officers responded, including members of the FWPD’s Emergency Services Team, Crisis Response Team and Explosive Ordinance Disposal Team and federal ATF agents, neighbors began to line up outside.

After officers arrived, Joyner said police set off one flash bang, which can be heard in the video NewsChannel 15’s Sara Wagner shared on Twitter.

Police waited to enter the home until they obtained a search warrant. Officers then “introduced a chemical agent” into the home before going inside.

There, police found no one.

It’s not clear yet where the man went. Investigators said they are trying to determine his whereabouts for a psychological evaluation. Police have not released the man’s identity. However, they have issued a warrant for his arrest.

Joyner said the man is familiar to the system, adding that a tactical team responded last summer for about a half-hour.

The brother of the man inside said he has had problems before and struggles with a mental disorder.

Joyner added the heavy law enforcement presence is typical; there are about 40 units at the scene. He explained there is safety in numbers and the number of officers makes it so they can evacuate if necessary.

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