Police: Roosevelt Drive Standoff Suspect Is ‘career Criminal’

Springfield Police say a domestic dispute turned ugly led to a seven-hour standoff on Roosevelt Drive on Sunday.

36-year-old William Abston Jr. is now charged with several felonies relating to the incident, including inciting to violence, having weapons under disability, possessing criminal tools and inducing panic.

According to court documents, a 9-1-1 call came into dispatch from Springfield Regional Medical Center before the standoff started. A woman told the dispatcher that Abston had attacked her at a home on Roosevelt Drive, but she was able to escape and make it to the hospital.

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“He’s got a gun, and it’s loaded,” the woman says. “He’s already fired it once in the house.”

Court documents say the woman and Abston had been arguing since Saturday night and it eventually turned physical.

“(The victim) stated that (Abston) threw her on the bed and began to choke her as she tried to get away. He then pulled out a black gun and pointed it at his head,” the affidavit says.

Court documents go on to say that Abston then put the gun to the woman’s head and threatened to kill her before firing one round into a bedroom wall.

No one in the home was injured from the gunshot, but it was the woman’s call from the hospital that sent police to the home in the 100 block of Roosevelt Drive.

Police say that when they got to the house, Abston was yelling and cursing out of the second-story and breaking windows.

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He refused to come out of the house. Several police and SWAT units blocked off Roosevelt Drive while they tried to negotiate with Abston to surrender.

Many neighbors were evacuated from their homes while the negotiations continued. Court documents say that Abston threatened to kill himself several times, and even yelled for the SWAT team members to kill him.

Canisters of pepper and tear gas were fired inside the house. It was about seven hours into the standoff that Abston surrendered peacefully to police.

Captain Michael Kranz with Springfield Police said 17 additional officers were called in during the standoff. He said that equates to about $6,000 — just in overtime pay.

That number does not include fuel and other additional costs at the state level.

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But it’s not just money lost in the community — it’s time lost as well.

Neighbors like Arena Garland had never seen anything like that happen in her neighborhood. The mom of two young boys had plans with her family to head to King’s Island to celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday — but those plans quickly changed when they couldn’t even leave their home.

“It’s scary because you never know who’s living next door,” she said.

Police label Abston as a ‘career criminal’ in court records. He was convicted of aggravated robbery in 2002, and has an adult criminal record dating back to at least when he was 18.

Abston is also facing a felonious assault charge relating to the domestic incident that eventually led to the standoff.

For this stack of new charges, his lawyer entered not guilty pleas for him and his bond was set at $125,000.

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