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Man fatally shoots himself after standoff


A 29-year-old Glen Burnie man wanted by state police for failing to appear in court on two drunken driving charges fatally shot himself in the chest after barricading himself in his apartment for three hours Saturday night.

Steven John Dobbeck of the 8100 block of Harold Court was pronounced dead shortly after midnight yesterday morning at North Arundel Hospital, state police said.

State police Tfc. William Dashiells attempted to serve the arrest warrant on Mr. Dobbeck about 7:30 p.m. Saturday, said Sgt. Max Schulte of the Glen Burnie state police barracks. As Trooper Dashiells was at the door explaining the warrant, Mr. Dobbeck showed the trooper a small-caliber handgun and backed into his apartment.

The trooper retreated and called for help, Sergeant Schulte said. Mr. Dobbeck locked the door and barricaded himself in a back bedroom, he said.

Five state troopers, a state tactical assault unit and hostage negotiators were called to the scene.

According to Sergeant Schulte, troopers were able to evacuate most nearby neighbors, as well as Mr. Dobbeck's wife, Denise, 29. The sergeant did not know how many neighbors were evacuated.

About 10:30 p.m. -- after nearly three hours of negotiations -- Mr. Dobbeck told police that he intended to kill himself. They began to enter as Mr. Dobbeck turned his gun on himself in the bedroom, Sergeant Schulte said. Police did not fire any shots. No injuries to neighbors or police were reported, the sergeant said.

The standoff was harrowing, said one of Mr. Dobbeck's neighbors in the Village Square Apartments complex, a usually quiet collection of three-story apartment buildings.

"I was scared and frightened," said the neighbor, who declined to give his name. "I listened to the whole thing from my window. It's going to be kind of hard to sleep now."

Details of Mr. Dobbeck's drunken driving charges were unavailable, but Sergeant Schulte said that he failed to appear at court hearings in Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties.

Mr. Dobbeck is the second man in recent months to commit suicide during the service of an arrest warrant. Stanley Anthony Dobson, 25, held a Carroll County deputy at gunpoint in March and fatally shot himself after ordering the officer to read his suicide note.

Mr. Dobson was wanted on a probation violation.

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