Deputies: Suspect in Craven County standoff captured

Official: Man barricaded himself in home, threatened to kill himself

POSTED: 5:44 PM Jun 11 2013   UPDATED: 1:28 AM Jun 12 2013
(img1)0611 craven county standoff vo
HAVELOCK, CRAVEN COUNTY -

Investigators said they have captured an armed man who barricaded himself in his Craven County home for hours on Tuesday.

Deputies tased Bernie James George, a.k.a. "Popcorn," at about 9 p.m. Tuesday, officials said. The suspect was not injured.

George was threatening to shoot himself if deputies enter his home at 115 Ferry Road, just outside of Havelock, according to Theron McCabe of the Havelock Fire Department.

The standoff started when deputies arrived at the suspect's home to serve papers to commit him to a mental institution, said Capt. Joe Heckman of the Craven County Sheriff's Office. But the suspect refused to cooperate and barricaded himself at about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Deputies and special response teams, armed with rifles, surrounded the scene as authorities negotiated with George via a microphone. But the suspect refused to budge, so deputies broke through windows and threw gas bombs into the home, Heckman said.

"We just basically kind of ruffled things a little bit- keep him moving around, cut off power and making it hot and uncomfortable for him to communicate with us," Heckman told NewsChannel 12.

The standoff ended when deputies tased the suspect at the back of his home at about 9 p.m. Tuesday, Heckman said.

The man was believed to be armed with a knife and two other weapons. But neither he nor deputies were injured in the standoff, according to Heckman.

Heckman told NewsChannel 12 he did not know if drugs or alcohol were involved, and that the suspect was probably just off his medication.

Investigators did not say what charges will be filed against the suspect.