A man wielding a large knife at Airport Mini Storage in Medford, Ore., was arrested on Friday after a three-hour standoff in which he refused to exit his camper-van. Jerry Lee Kithcart, 61, allegedly threatened another man with a kitchen knife in a dispute over cars parked at the storage facility, before retreating to his camper on the property at 3030 Bullock Road. The suspect reportedly lives in the vehicle, according to a source.
Police arrived about 5 p.m. and surrounded the van, but had trouble convincing Kithcart to exit the vehicle. “We spent a lot of time during that three hours just trying to communicate with him,” Sgt. Geoff Kirkpatrick told a source. “We brought in mental-health resources. A mental-health crisis worker came out and attempted to talk to him over the P.A. system. We attempted to communicate with him over the P.A. system. We called his friends; we called [Veterans Affairs].”
Responders eventually deployed a powdered form of pepper spray to force out the suspect.
Kithcart was arrested on charges of menacing and coercion and booked in Jackson County Jail. He was released after posting $17,000 in bail, a source reported.