‘Less-lethal’ force ends hostage drama Police subdue man following standoff

'Less-lethal' force ends hostage drama Police subdue man following standoff by David Lias A man who held a woman hostage at knifepoint at a Vermillion residence Wednesday morning is in custody, and more importantly, alive, thanks to the Vermillion Police Department's use of "less-lethal" force.

Officers with the Vermillion Police, the Clay County Sheriff's Department and the USD Department of Public Safety were called to the hostage situation at approximately 6 a.m. Wednesday at 720 Lincoln Street.

Police encountered Jared Slader, 18, of Eagle Butte holding a 20-year-old female at knifepoint.

Officers negotiated with the Slader, and at 7:20 a.m., he freed his hostage.

At 7:40 a.m., however, he became very agitated. "Slader exited the front door of the residence and brandished a large rock and a knife in a threatening manner," Callahan said.

Police armed with special weapons put their training to use, subduing Slader by using less-lethal force.

"It's called a bean bag round," Callahan said. "It's a flat lead pellet that's encased in soft material. It's used with a shotgun, but it's not a shotgun shell, and it incapacitates an individual.

"It stings, it is painful when you're struck, but it does give you the option of having to use something other than lethal force," he said.

Slader was transported by ambulance to Sioux Valley Vermillion Hospital, where he was treated and held for observation Wednesday.

"For a considerable number of years, we've always trained to use this," Callahan said. "It's for emergency situations like this. You try to do what you can to handle a situation like this without taking a person's life. Fortunately, that's what happened."

Callahan said Slader has been staying with relatives in Vermillion for approximately two months.

He was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated assault and kidnapping, which are felony offenses.

Suspects in similar situations often times become hostile to police because they may be distraught and hope officers will be forced to used lethal force.

"We call it 'suicide by cop,' and that's why we took the precaution of having the less lethal guns in place," Callahan said. "And once they exit the home and they are outside, they pose a threat."

Slader left the house at a time when students of all ages, from elementary kids to those attending The University of South Dakota, could be walking near the neighborhood to attend classes.

"Once suspects exit the home, and they're outside, they pose a threat," Callahan said, "and you don't want someone with a knife and a big rock who is obviously in some emotional distress to get out in the community.

"You have to take the necessary precautions and preventative means necessary at your disposal," he said.

Police had blocked the streets near the house that Slader occupied.

"We had an ambulance on standby, so immediately after he was hit, and once he was secured, we immediately brought the ambulance in," Callahan said. "He received immediate medical attention and was transported to the hospital."

Slader received no serious injuries. He was held in the hospital for observation, with a police guard at his room's door.

The woman held hostage also wasn't harmed.

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