A Bluffton man surrendered today after a 12-hour standoff with police outside his home in the Parkside development.
Police also found a sniper rifle, along with other weapons in the home after the man turned himself in. No charges have been filed against him. He is to undergo a mental health evaluation.
Police were called to the home on Woods Bay Road around 2 a.m. after Anthony Valentino, 35, threatened to kill himself. He had barricaded himself in the home and threatened to shoot responding officers, said Bluffton police spokesman Lt. Joe Babkiewicz.
The man surrendered peacefully shortly before 2 p.m. at the urging of relatives and is in custody. Police later searched the house and found a sniper rifle positioned next to a second-floor window, along with an assault rilfe and several handguns, Babkiewicz said.
All weapons were removed from Valentinos home and have been secured at the Bluffton Police Department for safe keeping.
No one else was in the home with the man, and no one was injured in standoff, he said.
Valentino did not brandish weapons at officers, but told relatives via email and neighbors he would take officers down who approached the home, Babkiewicz said.
The Beaufort County Sheriffs Office SWAT team, negotiators and bomb squad were on scene assisting Bluffton police.
Babkiewicz said there were no explosives inside or near the home. The bomb squad was called to use its robot to obtain a layout of the homes interior, without endangering officers, but was never used, he said.
The neighborhood was closed during the standoff, and neighbors were evacuated as a safety precaution. They were allowed back in Parkside after the standoff ended.
Surrounding schools were notified and instructed to have students dropped off and picked up by their parents across the street from the entrance to Parkside off Hampton Parkway.
We had eyes on him the entire time and knew he was still inside the house, Babkiewicz said. If he did come out, we had enough people to take care of the situation so he did not get away.
Neighbors called police after an apparently intoxicated Valentino went to their homes in the early morning and told them he was going to harm himself and officers, police said.
(He) had come off medication, and as result he started to have some anger-management issues, Babkiewicz said, adding Valentino had recently been terminated by his employer, which was a contributing factor, but not the primary reason for the standoff. Mr. Valentino said he was under a lot of stress, mainly due to his fiancee flying to Maine with his 21-month-old kid without telling him.
Police received a court order this afternoon to have Valentino detained and treated at a local hospital.
Rob Lembo, who lives across the street from Valentino, said officers came to his door around 11 a.m. and told him and his wife there was a safety issue and that it was contained but they needed to leave their home for a few hours for everyones safety.
It was alarming, but we never felt we were in any imminent danger, Lembo said. It was frightening, because we didnt know what was happening, if anyone was harmed or in danger if there were hostages but the police had good control of the situation the entire time.
Both he and his wide were shocked at the standoff, saying Parkside is a very quiet, tight-knit community. Neither said they know Valentino, who recently moved to the neighborhood.