Armed stand off in Avon ends witharrest | VailDaily.com

Armed stand off in Avon ends witharrest

Veronica Whitney

AVON – In a face-to-face confrontation with police, an Eagle-Vail man was arrested Thursday after allegedly threatening to kill his girlfriend and then himself, Avon police said.Robert Heon, 34, of Eagle-Vail, has been charged with felony menacing and domestic violence. It took police 40 minutes of negotiating with Heon before he relinquished his gun and allowed himself to be handcuffed, Avon Police Chief Jeff Layman said.

Heon was then arrested and transported to the county jail. On Friday, he was transferred to the Colorado State Hospital in Pueblo for a psychiatric and medical evaluation, police said. “It was a fairly highly charged negotiation effort on the part of our police officers, who didn’t know at the time if he was going to give up,” Layman said. “He had a gun right next to himself. The gun was on the deck on the floor and next to him. The two officers were covering him with firearms at all time.” The incident started when Heon’s girlfriend asked him to leave the apartment at about 2 p.m. Thursday, police said. Heon allegedly threatened his girlfriend at her apartment at Buffalo Ridge with a gun, police said. The woman then fled the apartment and called police. “Based on several factors, responding officers believed the man might be intent on suicide,” Layman said. “In fact, officers believed the man might have already harmed himself.”

Upon entering the apartment, Avon police Officer Mike Lundblade and Det. Mike Leake discovered the man sitting on an outdoor balcony, Layman said. He had consumed an unknown amount of alcohol and was armed with a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol, he added. “The officers began talking to the man and called for assistance, including asking for a negotiator,” Layman said. “This is a dangerous situation because you’re talking to a person who has threatened someone else with a firearm.” Eagle County Sheriff’s Office Deputies Dan Hansen and Leonard Valdez and Minturn Officer Marcia Rich arrived minutes after Avon police officers responded to the call, Layman said. Valdez evacuated residents from nearby apartments while Rich and Hansen helped cover Heon, Layman said.

Staff Writer Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454 or vwhitney@vaildaily.com. Vail Colorado