Fugitive arrested after 4-hour standoff

Published On: Feb 08 2013 01:25:14 PM EST
William Sitton
FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. -

Flagler County deputies arrested a fugitive after a four-hour standoff Thursday night.

Deputies were dispatched to the home in the 200 block of County Road 330 East in the southern part of the county about 9:40 p.m. after the Sheriff's Office received a 911 call where the caller hung up without talking with dispatchers.

Dispatchers notified deputies that 35-year-old William Sitton, a resident of the home, had an outstanding warrant for felony violation of probation for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

When deputies arrived, they announced themselves and saw Sitton, who had been sitting at a kitchen table, run to the back of the home. As deputies entered the home, they found live ammunition lying on the floor along with pieces of a gun.

Deputies called for Sitton to come out of his room. He began taunting deputies to "come inside and get me," deputies said.

Deputies who were positioned outside the bedroom window saw the man with a knife inside a bedroom, deputies said. They said he appeared to be cutting himself.

As deputies talked with him from outside the home, Sitton moved to a bedroom where he warned deputies he had a firearm and would use it if they entered, deputies said.

While the deputies on the scene continued to talk with Sitton, other deputies escorted his brother safely from the home. The brother told deputies he had called 911 by accident.

Additional deputies and a K-9 unit then surrounded the house and saw Sitton inside the bedroom. He was lying on the floor with a heavy blanket covering his entire body. Deputies then ordered him to exit the house, but he refused, they said.

Deputies said he made several references to satan while gesturing with his hand as if to shoot himself. The Sheriff's Office has been called to the Sitton home 84 times since 2008 for various complaints and deputies were aware that Sitton had a long history of suicide attempts, weapons complaints and involvement with narcotics.

A decision was made to enter the home as deputies continued their attempts to have him surrender. Sitton responded that he would not surrender nor take off the blanket, deputies said.

At that point, they said, he stood up and moved to an adjoining bathroom. As he did, deputies entered through a bedroom room and fired four bean bag rounds, striking Sitton in his back and lower thigh area. Deputies said they were then able to shoot pepper spray into the man's face and handcuff him inside the bedroom.

"This was a dangerous situation which was skillfully defused by the deputies who were on scene. The house already was known to us as being problematic," said Flagler County Sheriff James Manfre. "We are fortunate that these deputies were able to make this arrest using a non-lethal method."

Sitton was being held in the Flagler County Detention Facility without bail on the warrant and $1,000 bond on a charge of resisting arrest without violence.