Noble officers joined by Norman, Cleveland County, OKC personnel in responding

By Tony Pennington

Transcript Staff Writer

A Noble man is under 72-hour observation at a Norman mental health facility following a four-hour standoff with law enforcement officials Monday night.

According to Noble Chief of Police Ben Daves, Charles Barnett, a white male in his 40s, had been drinking at his home in the 1000 block of Acacia Circle in Noble. His two children, ages 10 and 15, also were in the residence.

Shortly after 5 p.m., Barnett apparently became agitated and made statements about suicide while loading and unloading a firearm. The children, whose names were not released, were frightened and called their mother who then contacted the Noble Police Department.

"The kids called their mother and said (Barnett) was upset and drunk and loading and unloading a gun," Daves said. "They also said he was making statements that he wanted to commit suicide-by-cop, and he wanted to die."

By 5:10 p.m. Noble officers surrounded Barnett's residence. Barnett made an attempt to leave but was confronted by police and returned inside.

Noble officials soon were joined by law enforcement personnel from Cleveland County, Norman and Oklahoma City. Responding units included Norman SWAT and police robot and an Oklahoma City police helicopter. The agencies tried to secure a perimeter around the home and treat the scene as a hostage situation as the children were believed to be inside, Daves said.

While the police were developing a plan, Barnett contacted his ex-wife, girlfriend, mother, Noble Police Department and a Norman hostage negotiator by phone.

At some point, Daves said, the children walked to a nearby convenience store.

"I don't know if (Barnett) told his children to leave or if one of those adults got them on the phone and told them to leave," he said.

Once the children were discovered, the police entered the home and found it empty.

"He snuck out before we got a good perimeter set up," Daves said. "He told us on the phone he wasn't in there."

Officials believe Barnett entered the wooded area near his home. K-9 units and an Oklahoma City police helicopter equipped with a thermal camera were used to track Barnett.

By 9:10 p.m. Barnett emerged from the wooded area and was taken into custody in the vicinity of 8th Street and Maple Street. A Taser was used during the apprehension.

"It's my guess he heard the helicopter and came out of the woods," Daves said. "He was quickly spotted by several individuals."

After his arrest, Barnett was transported to a hospital and then a local mental health facility.

Daves said he was pleased with the performance of his officers and appreciated the contributions of the other agencies. But the most significant accomplishment, Daves said, was the careful and cautious manner in which officials conducted themselves during the situation.

"The main thing is everybody went home safe," he said. "The suspect is safe and so is everybody else."

Tony Pennington 366-3541

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