Sep 042007
 
Authors: Aaron Hedge, J. David McSwane

Following a five-hour standoff with police, a local man was arrested Tuesday night on suspicion of assault and domestic violence after he allegedly threatened police officers with a knife and then reportedly slashed himself in an apparent suicide attempt.

Fort Collins father Tim Lybarger, 50, was treated at a local hospital for self-inflicted wounds and then booked at Larimer County Detention Center on suspicion of misdemeanor charges, authorities said.

Neighbors told the Collegian several children live at Lybarger’s home in the 1400 block of Shamrock Street – a popular, rental neighborhood for college students – but it was unclear how many of the minors were home at the time of the standoff.

“It was just bills all over the floor, knives, beer cans and some blood,” said 15-year-old Donald Lybarger, the suspect’s son.

The teen told the Collegian he arrived at the home during the standoff, entering a back door while police negotiated with his father at the front door. After seeing his father’s state, he left the residence and was taken by two neighbors to a fast food restaurant.

His father, the boy said, wasn’t himself. “He’s usually pretty mellow,” he added.

When officers first arrived in response to a report of domestic violence, they found a woman and another child outside the front of the house, Al Brown, a Fort Collins Police Services spokesman said.

There were no additional reports of injuries and authorities said children who live in the home had been placed with relatives and friends and were safe. No further details were released, but authorities confirmed that the standoff involved no hostages.

At about 1 p.m. Tuesday, officers approached the home’s front door and said they were threatened by Lybarger, who was barricaded inside and said he would cause harm to himself and the officers if they proceeded, Brown said.

Nearly two hours later, SWAT officers were called out and the surrounding streets were blocked off. Shortly after they arrived a loud noise, thought to be an explosion, was heard inside the home, Brown said.

The source of the explosion is still being investigated.

Authorities then made a reverse-911 call to residents in the area, informing them to stay in their homes while SWAT assessed the situation.

During the standoff, sharpshooters in camouflage could be seen walking through residents’ yards near the suspect’s home.

“(The sniper) came over the top of the fence and perched on the top ledger,” said Zach Belcher, a Front Range Community College student whose house was taken over by police as the command post.

At about 6 p.m., the elder Lybarger surrendered without incident. He was transported to Poudre Valley Hospital where he was treated for self-inflicted wounds.

After treatment, Lybarger was transported to the jail, where he was being held on suspicion of third-degree assault, domestic violence and child abuse – all misdemeanors.

“I feel so bad,” said Belcher, one of the neighbors who took the suspect’s son to dinner. “There’s no way to describe it (Lybarger’s home) but chaos.”

Neighbors who know the family said more than 12 children live at the residence.

Donald Lybarger, who said he turns 15 this weekend, is staying at a friend’s house for a few days. At the scene, he said he hoped he would still be able to celebrate his birthday on Saturday.

“I was going to go to the CSU game,” he said.

Staff writer Aaron Hedge and Editor in Chief J. David McSwane can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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