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Standoff at English ends without incident

Several weapons, dozens of rounds of ammunition inside house

May 21, 2008
An English man was arrested last Tuesday afternoon after a dispute with a family member led to a confrontation with police.

Crawford County Sheriff Tim Wilkerson and Deputy Jeff Howell responded to a call from Howard Leisure, who lives on Dog Creek Road near English. Wilkerson said Leisure reported that his son, Brian, was allegedly damaging the elder Leisure's home.

"This was the third time I've been out there," Wilkerson said. "It's been the same situation each time."

When Wilkerson and Howell arrived, Brian Leisure, 33, was at his father's house and allegedly had been on the porch shooting a SKS assault rifle and threatening to kill his father.

"He was screaming profanities at us," Wilkerson said. "And he wanted us to kill him. His brother was there and tried to talk to Brian, but to no avail. Brian was standing in the door of the house and didn't want to talk to us either. He just wanted us to kill him."

Wilkerson requested assistance from the Indiana State Police Jasper Post, and several ISP officers, including a trained negotiator, arrived shortly afterwards. An FBI negotiator also responded.

"We had the perimeter covered," Wilkerson said. "We also shut down the road and rerouted school buses. I've been in a couple of this kind of situations before, and they always worked out. We had the house covered and were prepared to stay there all night if necessary. Time was on our side. Death is forever, so we were prepared to wait it out. But, with this kind of mental state, you never know what they'll do."

Leisure's brother was able to grab the assault rifle and reported to the officers that Leisure had several other weapons, including another rifle and several handguns.

"We knew there were other weapons there," Wilkerson said. "His father had a lot of weapons locked up inside the house and a lot of ammunition, but we were also aware that Brian had other weapons, too."

After a couple of hours, Leisure came out of the house and sat down on the porch steps.

"We couldn't see any weapons on him," Wilkerson said, "and we started to talk to him again."

The officers used a bullhorn to communicate with Leisure at a distance, trying to convince him to surrender.

"Finally, he got up and started walking away from the porch, down the driveway, and toward the officers, and he was apprehended and taken into custody," Wilkerson said.

"Officers were then able to secure the home and the weapons. He had several guns and dozens of rounds of ammunition just inside the door.

"The house was destroyed. Cabinets were overturned, glass was broken out. It was quite a mess."

Leisure was taken to the Crawford County Jail and, Wilkerson said, was not a problem after he was arrested.

"Thank goodness it all worked out," Wilkerson said. "But he was able to buy those weapons after being in prison and a state hospital. There's certainly a loophole in the system."

Leisure was charged with criminal mischief, intimidation and being wanted on a warrant.

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