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MAN ACCUSED OF THREATENING PASSERS-BY UNDER PSYCHIATRIC CARE AFTER 4-HOUR STANDOFF

An elderly, reclusive Kensington Avenue man who held police at bay for almost four hours Thursday night after passers-by were threatened with a gun remained under psychiatric care today.

"There's a remote possibility that charges may be filed, depending on the outcome of his evaluation," Lt. Larry Baehre said.

Kensington Avenue neighbors and police said that the troubled man kept his mother's body at home for several days after her death last year.

Members of the Hostage Management Team negotiated the standoff by shouting into the Kensington Avenue home, which does not have a telephone. When the man opened a door at about 10:35 p.m. to surrender his .22-caliber rifle, police rushed him, Detective David Sugg said.

Describing him as distraught and confused, police said the man wanted them to produce something official before he would allow them to search his home for the gun.

Police then produced a "permission to search slip" signed by Lt. Carolyn D. Lukaszewski, commander of the Hostage Management Team.

The man, who was not identified by police, was taken to Erie County Medical Center for a psychiatric evaluation.

Officers were sent to the home at about 6:45 p.m. after the man pointed the rifle at a motorist and made threatening gestures, Inspector James J. Degenhart said. Other passers-by said they were threatened, too.

Kensington Station Officer Sal Valvo said officers tried talking to him through the front door of his house. He refused to come out and said, "You're gonna have to come in and get me," Valvo said.

Several residents of Kensington Avenue and Suffolk Street were evacuated from their homes.

A Kensington Avenue resident, who identified herself only as Joyce, said she occasionally saw the man. She and police described the man as a "hermit" and "eccentric."

Police and neighbors said that when his mother, who was in her 90s, died last year, her body remained in the house for several days before her death was reported.

"His mother was probably his only lifeline, and, unfortunately, he's been in that house alone since," Joyce said.

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