Developing story: Police involved in restroom stall standoff with local man

At this hour, a police standoff continues with an incontinent local man who was reported to be in violation of several public health ordinances.  At 7:35 this morning, employees at Downtown Health & Fitness placed a 911 call reporting a man inside a restroom stall releasing a noxious, and potentially hazardous, gas into the men’s locker room airspace.  A quick-thinking employee immediately placed the men’s changing room on lockdown, as nervous patrons and employees waited for authorities to arrive. 

“I had just entered the men’s lockers to refill the paper towel dispensers when I almost immediately encountered this malodorous haze that seemed to be emanating from the bathroom stall area.  As I began to wretch violently, I had the presence of mind to grab the wall phone and dial the front desk.  I can’t remember anything after that, but apparently a couple of fellow attendants pulled me to safety and the room was sealed off,” reported one of the gym’s employees.

A police tactical unit wearing gas masks quickly surrounded the stall where the man is thought to be hunkered down.  Negotiators are currently in place and are attempting to communicate with the suspect.  

“At present we have an extremely unpredictable situation confronting us in that locker room.  This man has already incapacitated several individuals.  Additionally, we don’t know if Covid is going to come into play here.  As for casualties, I don’t have a number for you at this time, but I definitely saw bodies on the floor in there.  Let’s just hope they’re going to be okay,” said a police spokesperson.        

The identity of the suspect is presently unknown, but gym patrons report he had been experiencing difficulty while using one of the stair machines.  “He appeared to be sweating profusely and experiencing a great deal of abdominal discomfort.  Suddenly, he ran for the lockers and a short time later all hell broke loose,” said an unidentified patron.  

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