A FOUR-and-a-half-hour siege has ended peacefully after a man was arrested when specialist tactical police stormed their way into a Tamworth unit on Wednesday afternoon.
The Tamworth man allegedly broke in and barricaded himself inside the Susanne St unit about 1pm, but luckily a 60-year-old woman home inside was dragged to safety outside a window by police and escaped injury during the frightening ordeal.
The area was cordoned off and specialist armed officers with bulletproof gear from the state protection group surrounded the unit.
Nearby residents were told to stay indoors while others who tried to return home were turned away, as Susanne St was shut down.
After several hours, negotiators and tactical police made a breakthrough just before 5.30pm, smashing several windows before a man in a grey singlet was lead out in handcuffs and taken away.
“We’ve had to use some tactical options to get the offender out and he suffered some injuries as a result of broken glasses and so forth,” Oxley Inspector Jeff Budd said. “And we were forced to take some action to get him out.
“The following has been a prolonged police operation (yesterday afternoon) whereby the offender has been arrested with the assistance of the tactical operations unit from Sydney, the state protection support unit from country NSW and the dog unit.”
The siege followed a dramatic day of events which saw high speed police pursuits initiated and terminated for safety reasons from Scone to the Tamworth township.
Road spikes were deployed in a bid to stop a ute, but the driver had other ideas and took off on Calala Ln.
“The alleged offender is a Tamworth local who was wanted by police on other matters,” Inspector Budd confirmed. “It was an extensive operation where we did our best to bring it to a close peacefully.
"Unfortunately (yesterday) we’ve had to take some action to force that to a closure.”
Several motorists took to The Leader’s Facebook page describing how they were allegedly run off the road in separate incidents along the New England Highway and in Tamworth.
One local resident, who didn’t want to be identified, said it was like a movie car chase unfolding right in front of him.
“I was coming down Calala Ln and I saw a white ute coming at 100km/h up Calala Ln towards me,” he told The Leader, describing the desperate chase to stop the utility. “He then went around the inside of a Mazda and she went to my side of the road, so I took a bit of a dive to the side of the road and the police were coming up behind him.”
The car then did a U-turn right in front of officers near the Calala Tavern before racing back towards town.
“Then he was flying towards me. He would have to had been going 120- 130km/h, so I just pulled off to the left and let him go and then the police went past,” the motorist said.
The utility zigzagged through Tamworth with several police cars chasing before crashing into a parked car on Robert St.
The chase then continued on foot after the man took off down Petra Ave before jumping a fence and barricading himself inside the unit about 1pm.
He was taken into custody on Wednesday night and was expected to be charged with a “multitude of offences”.