8-hour standoff with man claiming to have grenade ends in Snohomish County

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EVERETT, Wash. - A burglary suspect was arrested without incident Friday night after an eight-hour standoff with police. The man held police and SWAT at bay by threatening to detonate a grenade.

Forty-year-old James M. Riley of Lake Stevens was found hiding in a basement crawl space. He did not have any explosives on him and was booked into the Snohomish County jail on burglary charges.

The standoff began around 1:45 pm when a neighbor saw a man with a backpack casing the alley behind his house. He told KIRO 7's Chris Francis he knew the man was up to no good.

"When he got on the side of the house then you could hear the loud smash of the glass. Immediately called 911 and police respond real fast on the scene" said Charlie Mister.

Nobody was home at the time of the break-in and when police arrived they saw the burglar leaving the home. He ran back inside and police followed.

Officer Aaron Snell of the Everett Police Department described what happened next, "At one point contact was made with the male, and he said that he had a grenade and wasn't afraid to use it. So officers stopped the search and backed out of the house."

Police and SWAT members surrounded the home, using armored vehicles and deploying snipers. They tried to communicate with the man for hours through a loudspeaker.

At one point they also used a flash bang, loud enough to frighten dozens of neighbors who had been evacuated from their homes for safety reasons.

Close to 8 p.m., SWAT members geared up and entered the home through the back door. Ninety minutes later they found the suspect in that basement crawl space and arrested him.