A nearly seven-hour standoff in a north end Halifax apartment building left police officers empty-handed yesterday, as the man they hoped to arrest may have escaped through his tenth-storey window.
Officers were at the Ocean Towers building at 2309 Brunswick St. by 10 a.m. after receiving a call about a domestic assault “of a serious nature,” Halifax Regional Police spokesman Brian Palmeter told reporters on scene.
Palmeter said police had reason to believe a man wanted in relation to the alleged assault was in the apartment after officers spoke with him by phone and spotted him through the window as late as 2 p.m.
Police searched the apartment at 4:35 p.m. after securing a warrant to enter the suspect’s unit, but there was no sign of a suspect. Palmeter said the balcony door of the ninth floor apartment underneath was damaged, leading police to think he may have climbed down from the above balcony and broken into the vacant apartment below.
“There was a brief window of opportunity, when officers were setting up on the building that that could’ve been done,” Palmeter said.
“We’re not 100 per cent convinced that that’s how he made his escape, but at this point he’s not in the apartment and we did have the outer door covered.”
Three officers stood outside the elevators on the tenth floor around mid-afternoon, one holding a large automatic weapon. All that could be seen down the hallway was a thin beam of light coming from the suspect’s apartment, where the door was slightly ajar.
As of last night, Halifax Regional Police had yet to confirm the suspect’s identity and couldn’t give a description of him, although he could be in his early 20s. Palmeter said police believe he is new to Nova Scotia.
As for the alleged assault victim, Palmeter said she is a young woman who was likely in an intimate relationship with the suspect. She is now safe, and was not in the room during the standoff, he said.