10 Hostages kept in Newport - 2 Suspects in Custody - Gunman was on Roof

10 Hostages kept in Newport - 2 Suspects in Custody - Gunman was on Roof

The city of Newport is getting back to normal tonight after two men armed with guns prompted police to shut down several streets, schools went on lockdown. Police say they were holding at least ten people hostage.
NEWPORT, Vt. - The city of Newport is getting back to normal tonight after two men armed with guns prompted police to shut down several streets, schools went on lockdown. Police say they were holding at least ten people hostage.

Police say one of the gunmen was hallucinating - he told police he thought he saw 400 police officers outside of his house, waiting to attack. That’s when he got on his roof, armed with a rifle.

Wednesday began with a bang on the door - police telling neighbors in Newport to evacuate.

"They warned me that he may start shooting," Mark Campbell said, who lives next door.

"Three troopers heading up this way with rifles, six heading up this way around the bend, you're listening on the scanner and they say we've got the house surrounded - we got some on the east, some on the west, being an old military man - I pretty well know this is the real McCoy," John Wilson said, who lives nearby.

This all happened on Highland Avenue - in the area of West Main and Longview - two men were armed with rifles. 36 year old Derick Niles on his roof, and a 15 year old behind the house. Police say at least ten additional family members were being kept against their will, inside the home.

"Anytime you have someone armed with a gun, hallucinating and you don't know what the outcome could be, so I’d say they were in grave danger," Newport Police Chief Seth DiSanto said.

The streets were blocked off for hours - a couple miles away, the elementary school went on lockdown.

While an extra set of eyes hovered above police helped the hostages sneak out through a window. Vermont State Police hostage negotiators got Niles to surrender - no shots were fired, and no one was injured.

The 911 call came from the suspect himself, claiming there were 400 police officer, surrounding his home, when in reality there were none. Police say that he is known to them and that they believe he was on drugs.

"He has been arrested for violent crimes in the past," Chief DiSanto said.

After Wednesday’s standoff, Niles was taken to the hospital for a mental evaluation - then arraigned in court, charged with reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and violating probation. 

In court, Derick Niles pleaded not guilty - we're told that he was ranting about meth and the hells angels. But again, no one was injured. He and the 15 year old both remain in police custody.

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