Man in East Lyme standoff taken to area hospital

East Lyme — A man from Lyme is currently being evaluated at a local hospital after he was taken into custody late Wednesday following an hours-long standoff at St. Matthias Church.

Resident Trooper Sgt. Bill Blanchette said Thursday that at about 4:45 p.m. Wednesday East Lyme police received a report that a despondent man was in their town. Officers then searched for the man, he said.

Blanchette said at about 6:30 p.m. they received information that the unidentified man, who is in his 50s, was dropped off at the church.

A church caretaker discovered the man sitting in a pew. Blanchette said the distraught man never showed any aggression. He said police initially received reports that the man may be in possession of a firearm, which later turned out to be unfounded.

Witnesses said they first noticed a police presence shortly before 7 p.m. State and East Lyme police cruisers lined the long entrance to the church at 317 Chesterfield Road.

Neighbors said police used a loudspeaker, trying to coax the individual out of the church.

Around 8:40 p.m. more police units, including members of a specialized state police tactical unit who arrived in armored trucks, also responded.

The tactical unit entered the church around 10:15 p.m. and took the man into custody without incident. The church was not damaged, Blanchette said.

No charges have been filed at this time.

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