Man surrenders after barricading himself in Mt. Pleasant home, police say

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) - A man barricaded himself in a Mount Pleasant home and police asked people to stay in their homes until the situation was resolved. The situation ended peacefully with the man in custody shortly after midnight.

Police identified the man as Andrew Niehus. He is charged by Isle of Palms police with reckless driving and failure to stop for blue lights.

According to police, the man barricaded himself inside a home in the Crowne Point subdivision late Tuesday night. Police say the man was alone as they worked to coax him out of the house.

The man may have been suicidal, police said. A SWAT team was working to talk him out of the house shortly before midnight.

"That is the main goal of this is to have the negotiator speak with them through a phone or a PA system," said Inspector Chip Googe of the Mount Pleasant Police Department. "To have them come out is the ultimate goal, without any injuries to them or to us, and fortunately that is what happened here tonight."

Officials say the incident began on the Isle of Palms as a domestic disturbance call. The man tried to kick in the door at the home of his estranged wife, police said.

When police arrived, Niehus left, hitting several cars between the Isle of Palms and the neighborhood, officials said. Police said Niehus went into the Crowne Point neighborhood because he knows someone who lives there.

However, those people were not home so he barricaded himself alone inside the house, police said.

The entire ordeal began around 7:30 p.m., an eyewitness said, when he saw a car pull off the side of the road near the Isle of Palms Connector and Rifle Range Road. The car had been in a wreck and a woman holding a small child was standing outside the car with police officers, the witness said.

The witness said he turned into the subdivision and saw several police cars in front of one of the houses near the entrance. He was stopped by officers and told he could not go home, the witness said.

Because of the nature of the incident, police said residents were allowed back into the neighborhood until the situation was cleared. Several residents were waiting outside the neighborhood to go to their homes at midnight.

"It was mainly for safety reasons to hold them out not to put them into another dangerous situation," Inspector Googe said on the decision to block off the neighborhood.

Early Wednesday morning, only Isle of Palms police had filed charges against Niehus. Mount Pleasant police may file charges later, officials said.