LEWISTON – A 51-year-old village man was being questioned late Sunday after holding police at bay for more than 12 hours and setting fire to his West Lane home before surrendering, state police said.
The standoff began at about 3 a.m., when police were called to the home for an unknown reason and tried to communicate with the man identified as 51-year-old Leonard A. Zientara, said Trooper Victor Morales.
Police brought in negotiators and a Special Operations Response Team at about 5:30 a.m. once they determined that Zientara had barricaded himself inside the home, Morales said.
Police used the “reverse 9-1-1” system to notify residents on West Lane and nearby streets that they should leave the area or stay inside their homes.
“It wasn’t a mandatory evacuation,” Morales said.
At one point, Zientara stepped onto a first-floor roof and began tossing papers from a soft-leather briefcase, Morales said.
Zientara set fire to the papers; the flames spread to the home and were extinguished by Lewiston firefighters after he surrendered.
No one else was in the home and no firearms were found, Morales said. No injuries were reported, though a dog suffering smoke inhalation was rescued from the home, he said.