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Marc Giauque reportingWeber County attorneys could soon file charges against 17 people arrested in a police standoff in Ogden.
Yesterday morning, police responded to a loud party at a home near 3500 Madison Ave. Ogden City police Lt. Loring Draper said, "And that's when some people inside the house were texting their family members saying, ‘I'm being held. I can't get out of the house.' And when we got some of the witnesses out of the house, they testified that there was people in there that were holding guns that would not let them out of the house."
Some of the people inside refused to let the party-goers leave. After a six-hour standoff, police got a search warrant and used tear gas in the house. Ogden City Police Lt. Tony Fox said, "A simple party turned into something a lot more dangerous, because we couldn't get any cooperation out of these people, and we had others inside saying that they feared for their lives."
The victims say the suspects physically assaulted them and claim someone was waving around a gun. Police found only two paintball guns in the home. Fourteen adults and three juveniles were arrested. If charged, each suspect will face 13 counts of aggravated kidnapping.
Draper says police did not blow the matter out of proportion. He says the people inside were refusing to open their doors and some of those in the party are known criminals.
Parents of the arrestees, and some of the young people who were at the party, tell a vastly different story. They claim they were afraid to answer the door when police knocked -- in part because there were underage drinkers, and in part because they've had negative dealings with police in the past.
One person who was at the party said, "No one had a knife. No one had a pocket knife, no guns, nothing, nothing at all. Everyone was scared. Everyone didn't know what was going on. We had no idea that someone before had called and said they were being held against their will."
Party attendees claim police overreacted and trashed the house when they searched inside. They don't think charges of aggravated kidnapping will stick.
When parents met with police officers today, they told them that their fellow officers were responding to claims of someone held against their will.