SWAT negotiator ends Chester Co. standoff by singing "White Christmas"

EAST VINCENT TWP., Pa. (WPVI) -- A police standoff in Chester County ended on Wednesday after a SWAT negotiator sang a Christmas carol.

Authorities say 34-year-old Nathaniel Lewis barricaded himself inside a home on the 300 block of Aftons Circle in East Vincent Township Tuesday night.

Police were called to the scene from a concerned family member who was said Lewis was in the process of separating from his wife and was behaving erratically.

Lewis, a member of the National Guard, was in possession of a rifle, and during the course of the barricade he allegedly opened fire at police officers who were both inside and outside of a SWAT vehicle.

Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan says, a SWAT negotiator eventually talked the man into surrendering nine hours later by singing "White Christmas."

In a nod to that, the district attorney bought Christmas cookies for SWAT team members.

East Vincent Police Chief Matt Williams, who also is the leader of the SWAT team, says, "Incidents like this are why our SWAT team trains constantly. Despite the extreme danger to the police officers, the team responded calmly and professionally, resulting in the eventual surrender of the defendant."

District Attorney Hogan said, "The SWAT team members deserve the highest praise for their courage and dedication. While the rest of the world was going to bed after a long Christmas day, our officers were laying their lives on the line for hours in the bitter cold."

Lewis has been charged with multiple counts of attempted homicide, aggravated assault, and related offenses. He has been committed to Chester County Prison.

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SWAT negotiator ends standoff by singing a Christmas carol. Watch the report from Action News at 5 a.m. on Dec. 27, 2018.


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