Man surrenders after standoff in Palatka

Pepper spray, tear gas eventually bring wanted suspect outside

PALATKA, Fla. - The Putnam County Sheriff's Office said 39-year-old Barry T. Milton barricaded himself inside a home at Seventh Avenue and Madison Street in Palatka on Tuesday night.

Using tear gas, SWAT officers were able to get Milton, a convicted felon, to surrender after roughly five hours, police said. He was taken into custody just before 10:30 p.m.

According to Sgt. Hancel Woods, deputies were attempting to serve a warrant to Milton for sale of cocaine and a probation violation, when he locked himself inside the home.

"We really tried everything we could to give him the opportunity to comply with us and come out," Woods said. "Our negotiators early on had some conversation with him. There was some conversation back-and-forth by cellphone and texting between the negotiators and his family members. He refused to comply."

When he continued to refuse to come out, officers shot pepper spray gas into the home, shortly before 9 p.m. When that didn't bring Milton out, they threw stronger tear gas into the home about 9:30 p.m. Shortly after that, Milton came outside and the standoff ended peacefully.

Police believed Milton was armed but said they did not find a gun inside the home. About four city blocks were evacuated in the area during the standoff.

Police said they had been after Milton for about six months for dealing in cocaine and finally tracked him down Tuesday night at the residence.

He has been arrested and jailed at least five times before in Alachua, St. Johns and Putnam counties. His previous convictions include robbery with a deadly weapon, trafficking in stolen property, fleeing a law enforcement officer, and driving with a suspended or revoked license.

Milton was booked into the Putnam County jail and held on $18,121.50 bond -- $621.50 for the probation violation charges and $17,500 for the selling cocaine charge.

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