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Joppa man charged after police standoff


A Joppa man was charged yesterday with three counts of second-degree assault after a domestic dispute led to an early-morning standoff with Harford County police that lasted more than seven hours, a spokesman for the sheriff's office said.

Michael Keith Kelly Sr., 40, of 545 Trimble Road remained in custody yesterday at the Harford County Detention Center. Bond was set at $100,000.

Deputies responded about 1 a.m. yesterday to reports of a domestic assault at Kelly's home, sheriff's office spokesman Robert B. Thomas said. Kelly's ex-wife, Ruth Ann Falloni, and three children, ages 12, 15 and 17, were standing in front of the one-story frame house where the five of them lived. They told deputies that Kelly had assaulted them and threatened to kill them. They had escaped by breaking a basement window and crawling out, they told police.

Kelly came out the front door of the house with a rifle about 2 a.m. and "made threatening gestures" before going back inside, according to the sheriff's office.

Police surrounded the house and negotiators tried to get him to surrender, Thomas said. When Kelly did not respond to several attempts to speak with him after 7 a.m., police shot several canisters of a chemical irritant into the house, Thomas said.

Kelly still did not respond, so deputies entered through a side door and began to search the house. They found Kelly buried in insulation in the attic, Thomas said. He was arrested at gunpoint.

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