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Standoff, hostage incident leads to arrest without incident

Williamsport Police units were dispatched to Lycoming Street for a disturbance with a firearm on Feb. 19.

According to police, a third-party caller reported that the victim, Samantha Older, had barricaded herself in a bathroom after Rynell Brooks-Brown pointed a firearm at her and made threats to harm her. Upon arrival, Patrol Division officers attempted to make contact with the occupants.

While doing so observed the suspect, Brooks-Brown, through a first floor window. He allegedly refused to answer the door and attempts to gain compliance from Brooks-Brown over a PA system were unsuccessful. Williamsport Police Special Response Team and Columbia-Montour SWAT responded.

According to the police, Older advised that she heard Brooks-Brown pacing outside of the bathroom and attempted to convince her to tell police that she was fine. Older remained locked in the bathroom at that time. While attempting to move from one room to another, Brooks-Brown took her cell phone. He then allegedly blocked the door, leaving Older unable to escape the residence.

Crisis negotiators attempted several times to contact Brooks-Brown on Older's cell phone as well as his cell phone in order to convince him to release Older and surrender to police. These attempts were unsuccessful, police said. Ultimately, Brooks-Brown appeared in an upstairs window at which time members of SRT and Columbia-Montour SWAT were able to gain compliance from him. Older was able to exit the apartment safely to awaiting officers. Brooks-Brown then exited at the direction of Police where he peacefully surrendered. He was taken into custody without further incident.

A search warrant for the apartment was then obtained. Officers found a firearm which was seized as evidence.

Brooks-Brown was arraigned before District Judge Kirsten Gardner. He was charged with terroristic threats, unlawful restraint, possessing instruments of a crime, false imprisonment, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and disorderly conduct. He was committed to Lycoming County Prison on $300,000 bail.

Rynell Brooks-Brown