Armed hostage situation resolved without incident
A hostage situation involving a man with a gun ended peacefully on Friday afternoon following a four-hour standoff in southeast Cape Coral.
According to police spokeswoman Connie Barron, a Fort Myers Beach man armed with a revolver broke into a Cape duplex and took his ex-girlfriend and a woman staying with her hostage.
One woman managed to escape and call police and David A. Stuckey, 45, of 5100 Williams Drive, Fort Myers Beach, voluntarily released the other at 6:26 p.m. He was taken into police custody without further incident, Barron said.
Following questioning, Stuckey was charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault and armed burglary, Barron said.
The situation began at roughly 2:47 p.m., according to Barron, as Cape Coral police responded to a call from Sandra L. Bothwell, who had escaped the duplex at 1511 S.E. 24th Ave. and fled to a neighbor’s home where she called 9-1-1.
According to Barron, Bothwell told arriving officers that her friend Betty Johns had been having problems with her ex-boyfriend, David Stuckey, who was harassing her. Johns had asked Bothwell to stay at her house, and Bothwell said she had agreed.
“Johns had left for work earlier this morning, and at about 2 p.m., Bothwell heard the sound of breaking glass coming from the garage,” Barron wrote in a prepared statement released late Friday night. “As she was walking toward the garage to investigate the noise she observed Stuckey trying to gain entry into the residence through a broken garage window. He was holding a silver revolver in his hand. Bothwell yelled at Stuckey to leave and attempted to block the door but was unsuccessful.”
Bothwell told investigators she fled to a bedroom when Stuckey entered the home and tried to lock the bedroom door.
“She was overpowered by Stuckey and ran into the bathroom,” Barron stated. “Stuckey approached her in the bathroom and placed the revolver to her head, threatening to kill her. He ordered her to the floor, removed shoe laces from a pair of shoes and tied her hands behind her back.”
Meanwhile, Johns returned home from work. Stuckey pointed the gun in her face, Barron said.
“She attempted to escape but laid down on the ground when he threatened to kill her,” Barron stated. “Johns stated that Stuckey unsuccessfully tried to bind her with a robe tie, and while he was struggling with Johns, Bothwell managed to get loose and escape through a sliding glass door.”
As she ran, Stuckey reportedly yelled that he would kill Johns and himself.
Cape Police and Lee County Sheriffs responded in force to the call.
SWAT teams and mobile command units from both departments took over the scene, calling in sniper and bomb squad teams from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
Stuckey finally complied with law enforcement and came outside, Barron said. He was taken into custody and transported to the Cape Coral Police Department for booking.
“Johns was located in the residence, and while she was not injured she was extremely distraught,” Barron stated. “She told police that Stuckey had lived with her off and on, but had moved out permanently about two months ago. Johns said he had been stalking her continuously since they split up, and he was very jealous. She applied for an injunction Thursday and was fearful that he was going to do something.”
Barron said Stuckey admitted to detectives that he had loaded a gun with bullets and went to the residence to confront Johns. Stuckey reportedly said he intended to use the gun to force her to speak to him, and that he initially was going to kill himself and her.
Johns managed to calm him down, Barron said, and he ultimately released her.
Neighbors from Southeast 24th Avenue and the surrounding streets poured out to watch the situation unfold.
Daniel Hammock, who lives one street over on Southeast 23rd, was happy that things ended peacefully, and that law enforcement responded as they did.
“It’s never enough,” Hammock said of the large police presence. “You don’t know what’s inside the house. I think their response, and the way they handled the public, was great.”