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Police Swarm Town Of Marion For Standoff

December 24, 2012, 10:05 PM by Kelly Bartnick

Police Swarm Town Of Marion For Standoff
MARION, SD -

Authorities swarmed the tiny town of Marion, South Dakota Monday resuming a day-old search for a wanted parole violator.

Jonathan Mandler led authorities on a chase across three counties Sunday night. Police called off the search, but on Monday, they say their search turned into a hostage situation after Mandler entered his grandmother's home, holding her and another relative against their will.

It was a day-long battle of wills as police tried to talk down their suspect, 32 year-old Mandler who was holed up in a house along the northwest edge of Marion. Mandler said he had weapons and was threatening violence.

“Right now we're just in negotiations. Right now it's not going our way at this point,” Turner County Sheriff Byron Nogelmeier said.

Nogelmeier says the suspect quickly let one hostage go, releasing his grandmother before noon. Another teenage relative also lived in the home, getting her out didn't go as well. Local and state authorities spent hours talking with their suspect.

“And try to meet demands he wants. They're not big demands, but it takes time to do in safely. We're doing that as we speak,” Nogelmeier said.

As night fell, the 15-year-old girl was finally freed.

Police officially changed their tactics from dealing with a hostage situation to one with a man refusing to come out, bracing for any scenario, including the violence Mandler had threatened all day long.

“At least we got her out of the house. Now we've got to work on taking our time. Hopefully we can convince him to come out and we'll get through this,” Nogelmeier said.

Members of Sioux Falls Police Department's SWAT team came in at dark to continue the work, as crews set up large search lights in front of the home.

The standoff reached hour 13 at 10 p.m. Monday.

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