An Iowa man who allegedly fired shots outside a home in Bement Saturday (Dec. 7), prompting the evacuation of several homes, was taken into custody after about two hours without anyone being physically hurt.
Piatt County Sheriff David Hunt said Nemetorbor Siaway, 23, of Cedar Rapids, was arrested for aggravated assault with a firearm and unlawful use of weapons.
On Monday, the Piatt County State’s Attorney’s office officially charged Siaway with two counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm, a Class 1 felony. State’s Attorney Dana Rhoades added that a motion of fitness evaluation is also planned.
Meantime, Siaway was in the Piatt County Jail in Monticello being monitored. Hunt said the bizarre incident started about 8:30 a.m. when Siaway pulled his car into a driveway of a home on Mansfield Street near Macon Street on the south edge of the village. Siaway got out of his car and began firing from a handgun into the air, Hunt said.
“He was just a stranger, highly intoxicated,” Hunt said. “The homeowners recognized there was someone outside with a gun. The homeowner grabbed his own gun (a shotgun) and fired a couple of rounds over his head after first warning him he was going to shoot.”
“At that time, the guy pointed the gun toward the house and fired some rounds in the air. He was talking really crazy like he’s God and nobody could kill him,” he said.
“He tried to get in the homeowner’s car but couldn’t find the keys, then got back in his own car and couldn’t find his own keys. He was stuck there with all the responding units,” Hunt said.
Four Illinois State troopers and six Piatt County deputies, including Hunt and his chief deputy, quickly converged on the usually quiet town of about 1,700, which is 7 miles due south of Monticello, the county seat.
He said police did an excellent job of securing the area.
“One of my deputies was able to sneak the residents out the back of the house and get them to safety,” Hunt said of the two adults and two children who were home.
Police also evacuated about five other nearby homes and directed the residents downtown to a restaurant.
Hunt said although none of his deputies is specifically trained in hostage negotiation, one of them did a good job trying to communicate with Siaway while a negotiator from state police was being summoned.
“He (the deputy) was doing a pretty good job of trying to talk him down and keep him calm. He was very agitated. Once he got back in the vehicle, communications were a little harder. He would open the door to say something, like he wanted his keys and wanted to leave,” said Hunt, who speculated that Siaway somehow believed, mistakenly, that police had his car keys.
“After a while, he just got out of his car. He was rapping to a song and started walking toward us so one of my deputies tackled him, thinking he might still have the gun,” Hunt said.
The gun, A Glock 9 mm, was later found in his car, which was impounded.
Hunt said they’ll get a search warrant for it Monday to see if there is anything inside that might shed light on Siaway’s behavior.
The strong odor of cannabis coming from him and some of his unusual statements led police to believe he might have been under the influence of something, the sheriff said.
Hunt expressed relief that no one was hurt.