Pine Island man facing several charges from weekend standoff
(ABC 6 News) – A Pine Island man is facing four felonies from a lengthy standoff in Pine Island last Saturday that triggered a shelter-in-place for the area.
Michael Steven Molitor, 37, is charged with 1st-degree assault using deadly force, 2nd-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, making terroristic threats, and committing a crime while wearing/possessing a bullet-resistant vest.
According to court documents, the incident started at 10:44 a.m. on Saturday when the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to a Pine Island home because of a welfare check where a man claimed he was going to "kill himself" and threatened "suicide by cops."
The suspect also mentioned he had firearms and had a female handcuffed in a room inside the house, and that law enforcement would need to get her out.
The suspect mentioned to authorities that he had five guns including an AR-15, a Glock, another pistol, a bullet proof vest, and nine magazines with another slung on his back and another on his hip according to the court document.
Goodhue County SWAT would later arrive on scene with members of the Rochester Police Department, and Olmsted County Emergency Response Unit as the suspect was seen in the garage with military-grade body armor and an AR-15 attached to his upper body.
At 3:51 p.m., personnel began formalizing a plan to deliver chemical munitions inside the residence with additional armored vehicles brought on scene to help.
At approximately, 6:10 p.m., teams moved in on the residence to deploy chemicals. Once teams were in place, a diversionary flash bang was deployed at the front of the residence.
By 7:30 p.m., the suspect eventually emerged from the residence still wearing body armor and a rifle on his upper body.
While outside, the suspect spoke with the negotiation team by phone holding the rifle at a low ready position towards one of the armored vehicles before returning inside the home.
Goodhue County personnel utilized the arm of an armored vehicle to breach a window and deployed five chemical rounds into the residence in an effort to isolate the suspect to one part of the house.
During the deployment of the chemical munitions, gunfire erupted from inside the home. Law enforcement estimated that 20 to 22 rounds were fired with one round towards an officer in a covered position behind an armored vehicle, another round striking under the driver-side window of the armored vehicle and another the house behind the vehicle.
The suspect exited the garage with law enforcement deploying pepper ball rounds to gain compliance.
The suspect eventually complied with law enforcements commands and was place under arrest.
Law enforcement found the suspect was unarmed when placing him under arrest, but was in possession of two pistol magazines.
Goodhue County SWAT members cleared the residence for other persons, but none were located.
The standoff lasted nearly 9 hours with a shelter in place issued for nearby residents.
Molitor made his first court appearance Tuesday morning, Aug. 23.
He was released ahead of trial, but ordered to surrender all firearms to law enforcement within two business days.