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No charges yet against former Spencer mayor in standoff

By Steve Huffman
shuffman@salisburypost.com
SPENCER ó Charges have not been filed against a former Spencer mayor who held officers at bay with an assault rifle Friday.
According to Spencer Police Chief Robert Bennett, Alicia Bean is being treated through LifeWorks, a mental health facility that’s part of Rowan Regional Medical Center. He said any possible charges against Bean can’t be filed until she’s released from the hospital.
Bennett said that because of federal regulations regarding hospitals and the privacy of patients, he doesn’t know when Bean will be released.
“We’re kind of in a holding pattern,” Bennett said Tuesday.
Bean, 42, who served as mayor from 2005-2007, held officers at bay for about an hour in the backyard of her house at 218 N. Yadkin Ave. Officers eventually tackled her in an outbuilding, bringing a peaceful ending to an incident that had the potential for disaster.
Bennett said there were no children in the house at the time of the incident. He said officers “cleared the house” at the start of the incident and found no one at home.
Friday’s standoff started when Bean called 911, threatening suicide and threatening to kill any police officers who responded to the call. When officers arrived, no one answered the front door. When they went to the back door, they found Bean holding an assault rifle.
Sgt. Eric Ennis of the Spencer Police described the gun as “an AR-15 type,” similar to that carried by officers.
Bennett said most feedback he’s heard included praise for officers, their professionalism and the fact that the incident came to a close without serious injury.
Bennett said it’s impossible to compare incidents like Friday’s and the one in February when a Spencer officer shot and killed Chris Kluttz, a former Spencer officer who they said came at them with a knife.
Bennett said comparing the incidents ó as was done Tuesday in a Salisbury Post editorial ó is unfair to all parties.
“They were two entirely different situations,” Bennett said.

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