A domestic assault suspect was taken into custody Friday morning following a SWAT standoff at a DeKalb County home, but not before setting fire to the house, police said.
The DeKalb police SWAT team was called to the home near Lithonia just before daybreak Friday after the 45-year-old suspect refused to surrender to officers.
The incident on Regency Manor Court, in a neighborhood off Rock Springs Road, ended just before 8:30 a.m.
“We were able to get him out after the house was set on fire, before it was fully-involved,” DeKalb police interim Chief Jim Conroy told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“We found weapons, several different types,” Conroy said. “We’ve recovered several weapons so far.”
Officers responded to the home about 6:30 a.m. for a domestic-related call.
“The caller reported that she was being held against her will,” Conroy said.
“We responded and found that there were several adults in the location,” he said.
Conroy said police were able to get two women and a man out of the house.
“There was another male who remained in the location making threats against the officers,” he said. “He had previously assaulted one of the females.”
That female victim, who Conroy said is believed to be the suspect’s girlfriend, was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
“We were negotiating with the suspect,” Conroy said.
“We had open lines of communication with him for a lengthy period of time. One of his threats, he had threatened to burn the house down and once he set fire to the house, we were able to extract him and take him into custody.”
DeKalb fire Capt. Eric Jackson said said the blaze was “quite a serious fire.”
“The house is extensively damaged,” he said. “The house is more than likely going to be a total loss.”
Danny Thomas lives in the Regency Woods subdivision where the incident unfolded.
“I went to the gym early this morning, at 5 o’clock, and as I was going to the gym, I saw one cop in the neighborhood,” said Thomas, a Clayton County school teacher.
“An hour and a half later, at 6:40, as I’m trying to get into the neighborhood, I just see a bunch of police cars, SWAT team. No idea what’s going on.”
Thomas said police had blocked access to the neighborhood and would not let him return home.
“I have to be at work in another hour, so I’ve already called my principal and let him know that I’m dealing with a situation,” Thomas told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.