Arrest ends 9-hour Bloomington apartment standoff

  • Article by: Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 18, 2012 - 9:01 PM

A Bloomington man was arrested Tuesday afternoon, ending a nine-hour standoff with police outside his apartment building.

Paul Joseph Solfelt, 50, was charged with probable cause burglary and was treated for an arm injury that he suffered when he fell while running from police, according to authorities.

The standoff, which resulted in street closures and the evacuation of some residents, began well before dawn. A passerby and drivers reported that a laser light was being pointed at them from inside a condemned house in the 8900 block of Blaisdell Avenue S., and verbal threats were heard. When police were called, the laser was pointed at them.

"The concern was that it was a laser attached to a weapon," Bloomington Deputy Police Chief Rick Hart said.

When several rounds of tear gas were fired at the house, police said a man ran to an apartment building in the 8900 block of Nicollet Avenue S.

Police tried to contact him, but he did not respond. Other residents of the apartment building were evacuated. Around 2 p.m., police forced the apartment door and apprehended Solfelt, who was alone. Several laser light devices were found during a search of the apartment.

During the standoff, three blocks of 90th Street from Blaisdell to Stevens Avenues and Nicollet Avenue from 88th to 92nd Streets were closed. School buses were rerouted. Hart said that police considered the home invasion an attempted burglary and not part of any political action connected to home foreclosures.

Solfelt remained in custody while the investigation continued.

PAUL WALSH AND MARY JANE SMETANKA

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