Smithville Police Deal with Despondent Man on Green Acre Drive

July 27, 2007
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police this week were summoned to a residence on Green Acre Drive where a man was reportedly despondent and suicidal.

Chief Tom Stufano says "Officers were advised that a despondent man was held up in his residence located at 224 Green Acre Drive in Smithville. 911 dispatchers had received a call from another address on the street that a man was claiming that he was suicidal and would hurt anyone responding. Numerous calls were made back to the original phone number but the resident there stated that the man had left and gone back to his residence."

According to Chief Stufano, "At approximately 12:30 p.m., Smithville Officers closed down the neighboring streets setting up a perimeter around the man's residence and negotiations began with the man now known as 55 year old Fred Claspell. Officers used a megaphone from a police car as Claspell did not have a phone in the residence. After almost 20 minutes Claspell came running out of the front of the residence yelling, "Shoot me I want to die, I'll kill you all". In his haste Claspell slipped on the front steps falling to the ground. Officers were able to quickly move in to secure him. EMS who had been standing by during the incident was also present. Claspell did not have any weapons on him at the time. Claspell was taken to DeKalb Community Hospital for a cut on his nose and a mental health evaluation. While Officers were closing up the residence they saw numerous types of ammunition, large saber swords and various gun parts near the doorway. Claspell's daughter was notified and responded to the police station."

Chief Stufano says " The Smithville Police Department commends the actions of the neighborhood residents who helped in this incident, so that a successful resolution was found."

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