Man captured after standoff; BBs, pellets, paintballs fired at media, police officers — (Wilmington Star-News)

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Wilmington Star-News (NC)

December 10, 2000

Author: MILLARD K. IVES, Staff Writer

After more than two hours of firing at Wilmington Police with BBs and paint gun pellets Saturday, a 29-year-old Greenville Loop Road man was wrestled to the ground and sent back for psychiatric treatment.

The incident ignited when police received a domestic dispute call from David Fredendall’s wife shortly after 10:30 a.m. Saturday. When officers arrived, Mr. Fredendall barricaded himself in the house then jumped from roof top to roof top on the property, firing at officers as well as area residents and local media members who assembled as the standoff dragged on.

The capture came after negotiations officers, a UNCW professor of psychology and a stun gun shot failed to get the man to surrender. The incident came several days after the man was released from New Hanover County Jail charged with assaulting law enforcement officers Tuesday.

Mr. Fredendall, was taken to the New Hanover Regional Medical Center for treatment and was expected to be moved later to the Oaks Behavioral Health Hospital. An official there said the hospital treats patients for psychiatric problems. Law officials said Mr. Fredendall will be charged again with assaulting law officials.

Mr. Fredendall had missed taking his Prozac medication and had been drinking, said Wilmington Police Detective Pat Pridgen, a member of the department’s hostage negotiation team.

According to police, Mr. Fredendall became upset because his wife didn’t want the new car he wanted to buy for her. The two started arguing in a nearby Greenville Village Mobile Home Park. After a scuffle in their vehicle, they arrived at their home at 6609 Greenville Loop Road, and she jumped out and called law officials.

When police arrived, Mr. Fredendall was on the roof of the garage. He warned officers he had a BB gun, a paintball gun and a 9 mm handgun, and was willing to use them.

During one trip inside, he retrieved a backpack and unfurled a sleeping bag, which he proceeded to slip into. He went back inside the loft and, after lining up some beer bottles on the ledge, re-emerged brandishing weapons.

Mr. Fredendall then took pot shots at nearby officers, residents and media.

Eventually, Detective Pridgen approached Mr. Fredendall and while using a pickup in the driveway as cover, began negotiating with him. He was quickly ordered to remove his coat so Mr. Fredendall could see if he was armed.

Mr. Fredendall asked for a cigarette and to speak to a doctor, repeatedly stating that he had done nothing wrong, Detective Pridgen said.

Eventually James Johnson, a professor of psychology at University of North Carolina, was able to convince Mr. Fredendall to come into the house to talk. Neither one was aware that officers were waiting inside, Detective Pridgen said. Officers then shot Mr. Fredendall with a stun gun, but he ran out of the front door and slammed it behind him, cutting off the lines from the weapon.

Once outside, six police wrestled him to the ground and took him into custody.

No officers were injured and no 9 mm was found.

Detective Pridgen said during the standoff officers had too much cover and too little danger from Mr. Fredendall to fire back at him.

“We didn’t want to hurt him if it wasn’t necessary to fire at him and that’s our job,” he said.

Dr. Johnson added, “He seemed like he just wanted someone to listen to him, I don’t think he wanted to hurt anyone.”

The call to Mr. Fredendall’s home was the latest incident in which officers have responded to the location, according to sheriff’s department officials.

Tuesday, according to police reports, Mr. Fredendall started fighting with police when they came to take him to a hospital after his wife complained he was abusing inhalants. When officers reached his home Tuesday, he had red paint around his lips. His wife said he had been inhaling paint fumes until they arrived.

After leaving a treatment center, he was arrested for assaulting officers but made bail, said, detective J.B. Chinnici.

“After this time, he won’t be let out of jail so soon.