Friday, July 19, 2024

Cambridge police block access to Fenno Street during a Thursday standoff with a domestic-abuse suspect. (Photo: Charles Teague)

An eight-hour Cambridge police standoff at 15 Fenno St. ended Thursday with a suspect being taken to a hospital under guard, according to a department spokesperson and scanner reports.

The incident began at 1:29 p.m. with a call from a woman concerned about her friend in the building, telling police her friend had been held hostage by a man in the Neighborhood 9 triple-decker for the past month. There was an early report that the man had a knife, and later concern that he had access to a gun, as well as to audiovisual surveillance set up throughout the property.

As a result, though the domestic-abuse victim was not with the suspect, police acted with caution.

“No injuries at this time. No hostages,” police spokesperson Robert Goulston said at 4:37 p.m. “We are treating [the individual] as if they are armed.”

Police believed they were familiar with the man – a Fall River native whose name brought up a record of arrests at least back to 2012 for deriving support from prostitution, dangerous-weapon violations, being found at Northeastern University with baggies containing a substance believed to be methamphetamine and numerous outstanding warrants. During a 2022 arrest in Saugus, a man with the suspect’s name was identified as having 10 outstanding warrants.

At the Cambridge house, it wasn’t clear whether the man was in the first-floor apartment or the basement, or whether he was armed. Car traffic was diverted away from the area, and “out of an abundance of caution, we asked people in the immediate vicinity to leave their homes so we could safely resolve the issue,” Goulston said at 6:09 p.m.

The department’s armored BearCat search-and-rescue vehicle was used to shield neighbors being cleared from their homes, some of whom sheltered at the Taylor Square firehouse two blocks to the southeast. Among those removed under cover of the BearCat was a 91-year-old woman in a wheelchair.

A robot was used to explore parts of the building. After a look at an apparently empty first floor, by 9:23 p.m. police were preparing to enter the basement. By 9:38 p.m., police said they were coming out of the home with the suspect, now considered a patient.

Shortly afterward, Goulston confirmed that police had “just located the subject inside the home and our teams were able to take him into custody without incident.”

Neighbors would be able to return home shortly, he said. “There will be charges for today, and there were multiple warrants,” Goulston said.

It was not yet known if the suspect was armed during the standoff.