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Standoff in Grand Forks mobile home park ends without incident

Police respond to reports of a juvenile who is armed and in distress at the Valley Ho mobile home court in north Grand Forks. (Joshua Komer/ Grand Forks Herald) 1 / 3
Grand Forks police and SWAT communicate where to set up after reports of a juvenile who is armed and in distress at the Valley Ho mobile home court in north Grand Forks. (Joshua Komer/Grand Forks Herald) 2 / 3
Lt. Bill Macki talks with a resident at the Valley Ho mobile home lot in north Grand Forks. (Joshua Komer/Grand Forks Herald) 3 / 3

A four-hour standoff involving a potentially suicidal juvenile in a Grand Forks mobile home park ended peacefully Friday afternoon.

Deputy Police Chief Jim Remer said a crisis negotiation team was in contact with the juvenile, described as a 15-year-old girl who had access to guns in the mobile home unit, for several hours Friday before she exited the trailer unarmed and unharmed at about 5:15 p.m.

“The person will be medically evaluated as needed,” Remer said.

Officers received a report of a potentially suicidal juvenile about 12:15 p.m. and learned the girl went to a unit in the Valley Ho mobile home park, where officers arrived at 1:20 p.m.

The park is between Columbia Road and North Washington Street, north of the Grand Forks County Fairgrounds and the River Cities Speedway.

Officers evacuated several units in the northwest corner of the park as they surrounded the unit where the girl was barricaded and established a line of communication.  

About four hours later, she emerged.

“The crisis negotiation team works very hard and trains regularly for situations like this,” Remer said of suicide negotiations. “Unfortunately, in our community lately we’ve had a lot of people have been thinking of or acting on that, so it’s something we deal with on a daily basis. And they go different ways. This time we spent a lot of time with the person, and ultimately it worked out the way we wanted it to.”

Neighbors Sharon and Glenn Whetstine have lived in unit 28, next to the trailer the girl was in, for about 10 years. A police officer in tactical gear and a rifle came to their back door and asked them to leave their property at about 1:30 p.m. They made their way to Glenn’s mother’s unit down the road, but had to leave their dogs Bette and Nancy inside.

“I’m just glad the girl didn’t get hurt,” Sharon Whetstine said.

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