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Evansville Courier (IN) 

September 28, 1999

Author: KEVIN KINNAIRD, Courier & Press staff writer

A police stand-off on Delaware Street ended peacefully Monday when an Evansville police chaplain talked a 48-year-old man out of his home, a police spokesman said.

Police originally thought the man, who held officers at bay for about an hour and a half, had a high-powered rifle, but it turned out to be a BB gun.

Police said they arrested Michael Vaughn on a preliminary charge of intimidation, said Evansville Police Capt. Bill Welcher, who serves as the department’s public information officer.

He was being held late Monday in the Vanderburgh County Jail and will appear in court today.

Welcher said police received a call from the Mulberry Center, a psychiatric center, around 8 p.m. Monday after officials there said Vaughn was on the phone with them, threatening suicide.

When two police officers arrived at the 24 W. Delaware St. home, Vaughn allegedly pointed a weapon believed to be a lever-action rifle and threatened to kill them, officers said.

Officers took cover and called for assistance.   Vaughn, Welcher said, was staying at the home of his ex-wife when the incident occurred. She was not home at the time, he said.

Members of the Evansville Police SWAT team were dispatched . And the road was closed at Main and Delaware streets.   Police had Southern Indiana Gas & Electric Co. cut power to the home.

Neighbors in homes near the area were asked to voluntarily evacuate their homes, Welcher said.   “He had been taking medication for depression,” Welcher said.

Welcher said officer Darren Sroufe, who serves as a Fraternal Order of Police chaplain, persuaded Vaughn to surrender by telephone.  Vaughn walked outside the home without incident, he said.

Sroufe was unavailable for comment Monday.  Vaughn said he was depressed and was waving the air rifle at police in an attempt to get the officers to kill him.

“We’re really glad we didn’t hurt him,” Welcher said.  The incident drew a small crowd .

Main Street resident Kenneth Walton used binoculars to gain a better view of officers who huddled around Vaughn after his surrender.
“You don’t see this,” Walton said. “You don’t expect this.”