The incident that occurred at 72 Walker Street in Lowell this afternoon started off as nothing life-threatening.
At 5:22 p.m., Lowell Police got a 911 call reporting that a third-floor resident of 72 Walker Street stabbed a second-floor resident in the hand and then fled back upstairs into his apartment.
By the time I arrived on scene minutes later, there were over a half dozen police cruisers there.
The suspect on the third floor of the red house pictured above was armed with knives and refused to leave his apartment.
The suspect was later identified as Craig Monahan, 25, of 72 Walker St., Unit 3.
At 5:35 p.m., police said in radio broadcasts that they had a possible hostage situation, though officers soon determined Monahan was alone on the third floor.
As officers gathered out front of and inside the home, the stabbing victim, a 25-year-old, was taken to the hospital with a non life-threatening wound to his hand.
At 5:37 p.m., Monahan appeared shirtless at a third-story window and began screaming expletives at police, calling them names and telling officers that he wanted a cigarette.
Lowell Police called for backup from a NEMLEC SWAT team about 5:40 p.m.
Over the course of the next hour, Monahan repeatedly appeared at the third floor window, shouting at and challenging police in expletive-laced tirades, and then slamming the window shut and disappearing back into the home until appearing at the window again.
Video of some of the tirades is included at the end of this entry.
The suspect repeatedly dared police to shoot him, calling them a variety of names in the process. He also said “I’m ready to die,” and continued to ask for a cigarette.
At one point he threw what appeared to be a large bottle of liquor he had been holding onto the sidewalk, where it smashed. That bottle is in his hand in the picture above.
He later threw a cell phone and a spatula out the same window, and later appeared at the window holding a knife in each of his hands. One of the knives appeared to be a kitchen knife, the other a pocket knife.
At one point it appeared he was holding three knives in his two hands, as pictured above.
At 6:30 p.m., Monahan emerged from the third floor window and held a knife against his own neck, asking police if they thought he was kidding.
By that time the SWAT team had arrived and entered the home, while canine units and other SWAT team members surrounded the home, and city officers carried both non-lethal bean bag shotguns, and AR-15 rifles.
Several NEMLEC negotiators also entered the home to try to talk to Monahan.
“I’m ready to die,” Monahan screamed at one point. “Give me a cigarette.” He also yelled several times about someone taking his pit bull away.
At 6:35 p.m., several NEMLEC negotiators entered the home to try to talk to Monahan.
“I’ll talk,” was among the things Monahan shouted out the window.
Shortly after negotiators entered the home, Monahan stopped appearing at the window to scream, though additional SWAT team members continued to arrive at the scene.
By this time, a large crowd had gathered at police tape on either side of the home on Walker Street, as seen above.
Police spoke to several women at the scene who appeared to know the suspect, but the scene grew relatively quiet until 7:20 p.m., when officers inside the home reported the suspect was in custody, and called for EMT’s to come to come inside.
A short time later, Monahan walked out of the home in handcuffs on his own power, with a large cut on his side. The crowd of onlookers cheered and jeered as he walked out of the home.
Police Superintendent Kenneth Lavallee told me at the scene that SWAT officers used a Taser to finally take Monahan into custody.
Monahan is pictured in the ambulance at the upper left of the photo below, as SWAT team members gather following the arrest.
Monahan was taken to Lowell General Hospital for evaluation, and later released into police custody.
He is currently being held, and a bail commissioner will probably not determine whether he can be bailed until early Tuesday morning.
He will be arraigned Tuesday in Lowell District Court, on charges that are expected to include armed home invasion and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (knife). Police are still finalizing exactly what other charges he may face.
Here is some video of Monahan shouting at police from his window during the standoff.
It appears Monahan has never faced major felony charges in the past, unless our arrest log failed to report them.
Monahan’s reference to his pit bull makes a lot more sense now that I found this story from August of last year when Monahan spoke at length about how the city’s new pit bull ordinance effected him.
After Monahan was driven from the scene in an ambulance, Animal Control Officer Robert Pickard went into the home and took custody of a large pit bull.
Police said the dog was unrelated to the incident, and did not attack officers responding to the incident.