Suspect involved in standoff in custody

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A deputy walks with a rifle as others shield themselves behind a car on Tuesday outside a mobile home on Ferry Road outside Havelock. A man barricaded himself inside the home.

Ken Buday/Havelock News
Published: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 08:10 PM.

An armed man who barricaded himself in a bedroom of his mother’s mobile home off Ferry Road Tuesday afternoon was taken into custody after about a 5 1/2-hour standoff.

An emergency responder said that the man inside the well-kept trailer was Bernie Gene “Popcorn” George, who is believed to be in his 40s. Authorities believed the man was armed with a rifle.

Around 9 p.m., the suspect was taken into custody. He was being transported to CarolinaEast Medical Center in New Bern for evaluation. He reportedly was tased during his capture.

Capt. Joe Heckman of the Craven County Sheriff’s Department held a briefing at 7:30 p.m. stating that law enforcement planned to wait out the man inside and that they were trying to communicate with him but that he was speaking “rhetoric.” He said power had been cut to the building in an effort to make the suspect uncomfortable inside on the warm and humid afternoon.

Heckman said that the incident started around 3:30 p.m. when deputies arrived at the mobile home to serve a resident with “involuntary commitment” papers initiated by family members.

Deputies entered and encountered resistance, Heckman said.

Some at the scene suggested the suspect might have another gun and a knife. An emergency responder said the man apparently had not taken his medication.

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