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Guns Drawn, Five Darien Cops Enter House

Darien Police reports describe an erratic night for a 52-year-old local man and what must have been a scary night for his neighbors -- and even police.

Five Darien police officers, each with a gun drawn and pointed down, entered a house on Tulip Tree Lane after they had heard loud banging noises inside and howling.

The information in this article is taken from Darien police reports and is an accusation not proven in court. Here's the rest of the police description of what happened before the arrest of Mark Whitehead, 52, of 47 Tulip Tree Ln.:

The guns were out in part because a neighbor had told police she heard what she thought was a gunshot, and more than one witness told police a man on the property was yelling at neighbors and passers by.

Officers entered the house in part because they wanted to make sure nobody inside was in danger.

Going through the unlocked outside door, police went into the home and found nobody there except Mark Whitehead, 52, in a bedroom. At gunpoint, they ordered him to show his hands and lie on the floor.

He complied.

Asked whether he had a gun and whether he fired it, he replied that he didn't and hadn't..

Police then warned him that if he yelled profanities out the window or screamed outside, he could be arrested. He replied that he understood.

Police left the house, but while they were still outside, at the end of the driveway, Whitehead opened his window and shouted profanities at a neighbor.

Officers began to approach the house again.

Whitehead turned on his front porch lights, opened the front door, stepped onto the front stoop and started to yell at police to get off his property. He then retreated back into the house, locked his door and turned off the lights.

He did not answer the door when police knocked.

Police didn't arrest him that night, which was Feb. 5.

Instead, they applied for an arrest warrant. A warrant charging Whitehead with breach of peace was approved by a judge and, on March 4 (last Tuesday) police went back to the house, presented Whitehead with the warrant, and arrested him there. He didn't resist.

Whitehead was initially held on $250 bond and is scheduled to appear March 14 in state Superior Court in Stamford.

Earlier on Feb. 5

Before police confronted Whitehead in his home on Feb. 5, they had a separate encounter with him less than half an hour before:

A female police officer saw him on Old Kings Highway North, near its intersection with East Lane and not far from the Exit 12 entrance to the eastbound lanes of Interstate 95. (This map is not intended to show Whitehead's actual route, only to show his home in relation to where police first saw him.)

Whitehead flagged down the officer, who was driving by, at about 8:35 p.m. The officer noticed the odor of alcohol coming from him. He told her that he was walking to a gas stationto buy cigarettes and asked if she could drive him there.

Another police officer soon arrived at the scene, and police told him they couldn't give him a ride to the station, but they could drive him back home, an offer which Whitehead accepted.

Less than half an hour later, at 9:01 p.m., police received a report that someone was yelling near the intersection of Raymond Street and Tulip Tree Lane -- the house where police had just dropped off Whitehead. The caller said she heard what sounded like a gunshot.

When police arrived near the home, on Raymond Street, a jogger approached them and asked if they were looking for the guy yelling at people, and he pointed out Whitehead's house. The jogger said he hadn't heard gunshots, only yelling.

That was when police went to the front door where banging and howling could be heard, and drew their guns.
patrick gladstone VIII March 12, 2014 at 09:16 AM
you thunder/deleter of comments--this is fun..just to say take me 2 second to copy and paste...hope you think this is worth your time. if it is--you must admit to not having much in your life...but suit yourself...lot more effort for you. i admire your resolve on one hand--but it certainly does make your tiime look worthless.

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