SWAT standoff in Riverside area ends peacefully

Witness says man was suicidal, threatened to take police out with him

By Elizabeth Berry , Tim Pulliam , Kumasi Aaron - Reporter/The Morning Show anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A SWAT standoff in Riverside ended peacefully Friday night, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's office.

Police were called to the apartment complex on Park and King streets in Riverside late Friday afternoon.

Police told Channel 4 that they were called to the home by a concerned family member of a man inside. The family member told police that the man was making suicidal statements over the phone.

A SWAT team was called to the scene because the man, identified as 35-year-old Joshua Boatman, would not come out of his apartment. Police said Boatman had a weapon with him inside the apartment.

Police said just before 8 p.m. Friday night, they were able to negotiate with Boatman inside the apartment and bring him out. Boatman (pictured, below, in booking photos) was arrested for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and will be put into state custody for a mental evaluation. His warrant has a $500,000 bond.

Businesses along Park Street were back open after the SWAT situation had the area shut down Friday evening.

"I was sitting with my best friend on our porch at Cafe Frieda next to the apartments where this is happening, and this was about 4:30," a witness told Channel 4. "It started and an officer came and asked us and another table of customers to please go inside. Then, we were asked to get to the far side of the building, away from the apartments and we were told there was a man inside who had been texting someone that he was suicidal and he was threatening the police, threatening to take his own life and threatening to take police out with him."

Police and SWAT arrived and shut down the two blocks in the area. Andy Zarka's business, European Street Café, was evacuated because of the police activity.

"It's easily our biggest night of the week, but there's going to be 51 more of them this year," said Zarka. "We'll get by. We've been here for 20 plus years. One night is not going to make or break."

People who were kept from their vehicles in the area will also be allowed back into the area.

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