Crime & Courts

Barricaded in hotel room with SWAT outside, police said he tried to cut through walls

The Wichita Eagle

A man who barricaded himself in a hotel room during a SWAT standoff tried to cut his way through the walls and ceiling to escape, police said.

Officers in Garden City responded to a report of an auto theft Tuesday afternoon, and later that evening found the stolen car, the police department said in a release.

Police suspected the car was stolen by Austin Roth, 23, and he was at the Dusty Trail Hotel, the release said. Officers had been trying to locate Roth on other prior criminal investigations for burglary, forgeries and thefts, but had not been able to find him.

When officers got to the hotel, Roth refused to surrender to police, the release said. One other person in the room got out before Roth barricaded himself.

Police tried to negotiate with Roth, but they found out he might have a gun, knifes and pepper spray. A SWAT team was called, the release said.

As police continued negotiations, Roth kept fortifying his position in the room and tried to cut through the walls and the ceiling in attempts to escape, the release said. He also called 911 to report shots fired calls elsewhere, the release said, in an attempt to draw officers away from the hotel.

About two and a half hours after police started negotiations, Roth surrendered and was arrested, the release said. He was booked into the Finney County Jail on suspicion of theft, interference with a law enforcement officer, falsely reporting a crime, criminal damage and possession of drug paraphernalia.

There was an estimated $1,000 of damage to the hotel room.