Facebook date between two men led to SWAT team raid, police say

Local News

DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Dothan police had to roll out the big truck to a hotel for the second time this week.

This time, they had to go to the Red Carpet Inn for a man described as being drug-crazed, holed up in a hotel room.

It began as a response to a call about some suspicious circumstances and a disorderly person at the Red Carpet Inn Thursday morning.

As the officers arrived, they quickly learned this was a date gone wrong.

“When they got there, they discovered two men had arranged a date on Facebook,” Captain Todd David said. “When the man that was not checked in arrived, he just had a bad feeling about things, and initially, the other man attempted to prevent him from leaving.”

Although this unknown man made it out of the room, he left his cell phone and his cars keys.

Officers later made contact with the man who originally booked the room, but as they continued to knock on the door, they heard a noise.

“They heard what sounded like a weapon being cycled inside, so they backed off and contacted their supervisor,” David said.

That was the beginning of the five-hour swat team response. Police Chief Steve Parrish said the SWAT team tried a number of methods to get the man to exit the building, but the subject forced them to intervene. 

“We deployed a throw phone in the room, which is standard procedure to try to make contact,” Parrish said. “That also failed. We then deployed tear gas into the room.”

After finally getting the suspect out of the room, police arrested him on drug-related charges. As in as the case with the Fairfield Inn shooter, the suspect will have to foot the bill for the SWAT team’s deployment if he is convicted.

Todd said they receive calls from that side of town often, but they are working to ensure everyone’s safety.

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