Nfld. RCMP to learn from week-long standoff

The RCMP said it would review its handling of a week-long armed standoff in eastern Newfoundland after a man left the home undetected and slipped past encircling officers.

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — The RCMP said it would review its handling of a week-long armed standoff in eastern Newfoundland after a man left the home undetected and slipped past encircling officers.

The Mounties didn’t discover that the man was no longer in the home in Bay Bulls until he was spotted 20 kilometres away in Petty Harbour on Saturday and arrested.

The Mounties said in a statement Sunday that the week’s events “have allowed for many lessons and learning.”

“We are always looking for ways to improve. The main lesson is that the RCMP focused on a safe ending to this matter and they have been successful.”

Leo Crockwell, 55, appeared in St. John’s provincial court Sunday on 16 charges, including five counts of attempted murder, assault with a weapon, assault, uttering threats and firearms offences. He was remanded until a bail hearing Tuesday.

Some Newfoundlanders took to the Internet to express their disbelief that a man who had fired shots at officers from his home during the standoff had managed to escape undetected.

“Seriously?! Incredible,” tweeted Steve Kent, a provincial Tory politician.

A person on the St. John’s Telegram website called the incident an embarrassment.

“What if that … man had managed to take a firearm with him?” he wrote.

Sgt. Boyd Merrill, a provincial spokesman for the force, said the RCMP would review the tactics used to end the standoff, as well as statements that were released to the media.

The criticism, he said, is a “small price to pay” given that no one was hurt.