Man arrested after 11-hour standoff

A 25-year-old Fort Frances man was arrested Sunday after police were called to the second hostage situation here in less than a month.
Allan Gibbons was charged with forcible confinement, assault with a weapon, two counts of breach of recognizance, and breach of probation following an 11-hour standoff at 935 Victoria Ave. N., where a woman was being held hostage.
No injuries were reported, police said.
Fort Frances OPP answered a 911 call around 2 a.m. on Sunday and shortly after that barricaded two blocks surrounding the residence.
Sections of Sixth Street East, Fifth Street East, and Victoria Avenue North were closed off and residents in the vicinity told to stay in their homes, or if they left to stay away, throughout the 11-hour period as officers surrounded the house.
Neighbours on one side of the house were told to leave until the standoff ended.
“We had to leave, because we were right next door, at about 6:30 a.m.,” said Astrid Sobkowicz, who lives at 933 Victoria Ave. N. “We went to my daughter’s.”
She was told she could return to her home around 1:45 p.m.
An emergency response team, made up of specially-trained officers from communities across Northwestern Ontario, and a 12-man Tactical Response Unit (TRU) from Belleville also were brought in early yesterday morning to help diffuse the situation.
“There are people in the house that we’re trying to get out,” Fort Frances OPP S/Sgt. Hugh Dennis noted during the standoff.
No other details, including the type of weapon involved, have been released as the investigation continues.
“I don’t feel it is appropriate to comment on that,” S/Sgt. Dennis noted Monday morning.
Gibbons and a woman were led out of the building in handcuffs and into separate police vehicles just before 1 p.m. yesterday. The surrounding barricades were taken down shortly afterwards.
“From a personnel safety perspective, [the woman] was secured and escorted out the back alley. There was some pretty emotional moments,” S/Sgt. Dennis said.
The handcuffs were taken off once she arrived at the OPP station, he added. She was not charged in connection with the incident.