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Rock Hill police use tear gas, arrest barricaded fugitive, near downtown, police say

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A wanted fugitive felon who had barricaded himself in a house near downtown Rock Hill Tuesday afternoon is now in custody, police said.

Police used tear gas in the area before the suspect, Godseen Vernard Williams, 22, surrendered, officers said.

Part of Marion Street, south of downtown, was blocked off as Rock Hill Police Department officers and U.S. Marshal’s Service agents tried to serve warrants on Williams, said Rock Hill police Lt. Michael Chavis.

Williams told officers he would not come out, Chavis said.

A decision was made to use tear gas to make Williams surrender, Chavis said.

Police announced on social media, including Twitter, that a critical response incident was underway. Officers asked the public to stay away from the area.

Williams later surrendered to officers without any incident or injury, Chavis said.

Williams was wanted on several warrants, including two counts of armed robbery, weapons possession by a convicted felon, assault on a police officer while resisting arrest, resisting with a deadly weapon, possession of a stolen gun, illegal carrying of a pistol, damage to city property, assault and battery, and leaving the scene of an accident.

The barricade incident near downtown was the second in a month in the city.

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Rock Hill police escorted a suspect from a home in handcuffs Wednesday, after he allegedly barricaded himself inside a home for hours. The suspect ran into the home after a traffic stop.

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Andrew Dys covers breaking news and public safety for The Herald, where he has been a reporter and columnist since 2000. He has won 51 South Carolina Press Association awards for his coverage of crime, race, justice, and people. He is author of the book “Slice of Dys” and his work is in the U.S. Library of Congress.
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