Thetford boy taken into custody after armed standoff

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(Host) A 16-year-old Thetford boy will face charges of kidnapping and reckless endangerment today, a day after walking into an East Thetford bank with weapons and taking two employees hostage.

Vermont State Police said Daniel Eaton of Thetford was taken into custody and the hostages were released unharmed after the boy talked with a mental health counselor.

The tense situation began around eleven-thirty at the Merchants Bank office. It was over two-and-a-half hours later.

Sergeant John Flannigan is with the Vermont State Police. He stressed that it was not a bank robbery and described what happened.

(Flannigan) “At approximately 2:04 pm, with negotiations, Mr. Eaton did release the two bank employees. During that time he also released them with the two firearms that he had gotten into the bank with. They carried out the firearms, the two bank employees. Like I said, the subject was cooperative and willing to negotiate with our negotiators. And it ended up that this was a safe conclusion to this event.”

(Host) Teams of State Police troopers and state highway crews set up roadblocks on state highways nearly a mile from the village. U.S. Route 5 was closed and so were bridges across the Connecticut River from New Hampshire.

Bob Watson is the owner of Watson’s Automotive. He says things came to a standstill in the village when the incident occurred.

(Watson) “There were state police everywhere New Hampshire police, Vermont State Police. They had the roads blocked off so that you couldn’t get anywhere near it. And I know they had everything blocked off in that area.”

(Host) Isabel’s Caf is across the street from the bank. Customer Linda Galvan and owner Bev Hodgdon were among those evacuated after police arrived.

(Hodgdon) “We saw a sniper right next to the restaurant, kind of getting ready and initially by the tree next to the restaurant. And then we could see him right there’s a little alley trellis out here. And then he was behind the trellis for a while. And then “

(Galvan) “And he was the one who told us to leave. He was the one that gave the instructions to leave.”

(Host) Police said the teenage gunman will be charged with kidnapping and reckless endangerment. An arraignment was scheduled for Thursday.

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