Man tells police he's armed, has a hostage in Ogden

Jun 18 2011 - 2:01am

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(ANTHONY SOUFFLE/Standard-Examiner) The parents of the hostage wait Friday as an officer talks with their daughter on the phone during a standoff at an Ogden hotel near Grant Avenue and 24th Street.
(ANTHONY SOUFFLE/Standard-Examiner) SWAT members and an Ogden police officer look toward the Ogden hotel where a man wanted on drug warrants reportedly took a hostage Friday.
(ANTHONY SOUFFLE/Standard-Examiner) The ex-girlfriend of the suspect waits near police cars after speaking with officers.
(ANTHONY SOUFFLE/Standard-Examiner staff) An Ogden police officer talks with family members of the suspect involved in a standoff at the Western Colony Inn in Ogden on Friday evening.
(ANTHONY SOUFFLE/Standard-Examiner) The parents of the hostage wait Friday as an officer talks with their daughter on the phone during a standoff at an Ogden hotel near Grant Avenue and 24th Street.
(ANTHONY SOUFFLE/Standard-Examiner) SWAT members and an Ogden police officer look toward the Ogden hotel where a man wanted on drug warrants reportedly took a hostage Friday.
(ANTHONY SOUFFLE/Standard-Examiner) The ex-girlfriend of the suspect waits near police cars after speaking with officers.
(ANTHONY SOUFFLE/Standard-Examiner staff) An Ogden police officer talks with family members of the suspect involved in a standoff at the Western Colony Inn in Ogden on Friday evening.

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OGDEN -- Police were involved in a standoff Friday night with a man who told them he was armed and prepared to shoot.

The standoff began around 5:17 p.m. when police tried to serve a drug-related felony warrant on a man walking by the Western Colony Inn, 234 24th St., said Ogden Police Lt. Eric Young.

The man went into a room at the motel and by phone told police he wouldn't come out.

Young said the man also made statements that someone else was in the room with him and he wasn't going to let the person leave.

Ogden Metro SWAT set up a perimeter and evacuated guests at the motel, which has about 20 rooms.

Police determined the person in the room with the suspect was a woman who is an acquaintance of the man, and they were able to make contact with her, Young said. The woman's parents were on scene later Friday evening.

A man who said he is a cousin of the suspect, whom he identified as Jason Valdez, 36, said Valdez called him around 6 p.m., about 45 minutes after the standoff began.

Manuel Navarro, 36, told the Standard-Examiner that his cousin said he is tired of "the system."

"I love you. I hate doing this to you," Navarro quoted Valdez, and "I apologize for the situation I put myself in."

Navarro said his cousin doesn't want to go back to prison and that his mind-set was that the police want to shoot him.

Young also told reporters the man said he would not come out voluntarily and they would have a fight on their hands if they tried to take him.

Seven hours into the standoff, around midnight Friday, Valdez posted on his Facebook page, "They shut our phones down but were okay, everyones comments mean alot. But how this ends is on the cops now. And my HOSTAGE as they call her is perfectly fine and holding it down wit me ...."

Western Colony Inn owner Shawn Soltani said the suspect checked in 10 days ago using someone else's ID. Soltani said the man paid the daily rate for the room every day on time.

He was a really quiet, clean guy who "never bothered me," Soltani said.

The Marriott, at 247 24th St., across the street from the Western Colony Inn, closed its front doors and was having guests enter and exit though a side door and back door, said Christina Moffitt, a front desk clerk for the Marriott.

"People are staying inside. Everybody feels safe," she said Friday night, adding there was a large police presence in the streets outside of the Marriott.

Standard-Examiner reporter Scott Schwebke contributed to this article.

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