Olde Towne Barricade situation over, suspect in custody

A call about a fire turned into a struggle to get a man to leave his home

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WVEC) -- A barricade situation in Portsmouth's Olde Towne has come to a peaceful resolution, with the suspect in custody.

Police have charged 50-year-old Darryle Murriell with failing to appear in court for a previous trespassing charge. 

The original call at the location in the 300 block of North St. was a fire call. The nature of the situation quickly changed after Murriell made certain statements to fire officials, according to police. 

Lorena Cruz has lived in the apartment building for three years.

“I went to my bathroom and smelled smoke,” said Cruz. “And then I heard all the fire department.”

13NewsNow spoke with the manager of the apartment building, MJ Alispo. Alispo said Murriell was failing to pay rent and they tried to evict him. Alispo also added Murriell set his stove on fire a month prior to the barricade and that he had been acting strange.

“Just talking all the time, late at night, singing, but we didn’t bother him because we know that he’s a little crazy,” said Alispo. “But not that bad.”

During the barricade situation, Court Street Academy was put on lockdown as a result.

Tidewater Community College spokeswoman Vicki Friedman told 13News Now the school's Visual Arts Center on High Street was on a brief lockdown. Once the center lifted the lockdown, it resumed its normal business.

At about 11:45 a.m., police said the suspect had been taken into custody, and no injuries were reported. 

Once the incident ended, he was taken into custody for the warrant and additional charges are pending. 

No other information was immediately available.

PHOTOS: Barricade situation in Olde Towne

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