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Former Spencer mayor charged in May standoff

By Steve Huffman
shuffman@salisburypost.com
SPENCER ó A former mayor of Spencer has been charged with her role in an armed standoff involving police in May.
According to Spencer police, Alicia Bean, 42, was released Monday evening from Broughton State Hospital, a mental-health facility in western North Carolina. She was released into the custody of deputies from the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office who transported her to the Spencer Police Department.
There, Bean was charged with two counts of assault on law-enforcement officers with a firearm. The charges are felonies. As of Tuesday night, Bean was being held in the Rowan County Detention Center under a $25,000 bond.
Her first appearance in district court is scheduled this morning.
Spencer Police Chief Robert Bennett said Bean couldn’t be charged with the standoff until she was released from the mental hospital. Her encounter with police happened May 15 in the backyard of her house at 218 N. Yadkin Ave.
“I venture to say Bill (Kenerly, Rowan County’s district attorney) will probably ask for a higher bond,” Bennett said of this morning’s court appearance.
Bean served as mayor of Spencer from 2005 to 2007. Prior to that she served as mayor pro tem and alderman.
On May 15, police were called to Bean’s house in response to a suicide threat. Transmissions heard across a police scanner indicated a woman had called 911 threatening to shoot herself, then threatening to kill any police officer who came to her house.
Bean’s name was eventually mentioned on the scanner, then the fact that she was in her backyard holding police at bay with an assault rifle. Numerous officers ó both uniformed and in plain clothes ó rushed to the scene wearing bullet-resistant vests.
During the standoff, which lasted close to an hour, Bean had what police described as “an AR-15 type” rifle slung around her shoulders. The rifle ó which turned out to be unloaded ó is of the variety similar to that used by police officers.
During the standoff, Bean alternated between shaking the rifle in the air and in the direction of officers. She also screamed, shook her hands above her head and walked in and out of a storage building at the rear of the property.
Officers sneaked around the building then rushed and tackled Bean inside. She could be heard screaming above the crash of bodies hitting the floor of the small building.
Bean’s injuries were minor. She was taken to Rowan Regional Medical Center before being transported to Broughton where she has remained since late May.
In June, the East Spencer Board of Aldermen recognized two officers for their roles in subduing Bean without serious injury. Those officers were East Spencer Police Chief Ronald Hines and Spencer Police Cpl. Tony Hinson. They were the two who tackled Bean in the outbuilding.
Hines had responded to the scene as part of a mutual-aid agreement between the towns of Spencer and East Spencer.
Bennett said officers had no way of knowing during the standoff that Bean’s rifle wasn’t loaded. He said the fact that it was unloaded had no bearing on the charges that Bean faces.

To see the Post’s video of the original incident involving Bean, click here.

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