Spring City man in jail after late-night standoff with police

SPRING CITY — A armed man allegedly threatened his wife then holed up in his house until police took him into custody late Monday night.

Robert Fillman, who turned 54 Tuesday, of the 300 block of South Church Street, threatened his wife with a scoped rifle at some time after 8 p.m. Monday, Spring City Police said.

An affidavit related to the case said Fillman’s wife told police she was met at the entrance to her residence when she arrived by an “extremely agitated and intoxicated” Fillman armed with the rifle.

“Get out or I am going to kill you,” Fillman allegedly told her.

Fillman’s wife was able to “retreat out of the house,” according to Spring City Police Chief Anthony Kuklinski.

Police were dispatched to the scene at 8:19 p.m.

Because Fillman reportedly had weapons, police from at least eight neighboring departments as well as the Northern Chester County and the Chester County SWAT teams responded to the scene and created a perimeter.

Firefighters from Liberty Steam Fire Company blocked off Church Street at Washington and Walnut streets until 11:15 p.m.

A mobile police command center was set up on Church Street at Walnut Street and the sidewalk was taped off to prevent anyone from walking into the scene.

Attempts to communicate with Fillman were “fruitless,” the affidavit said.

For most of the night, fire crews kept their truck between them and the residence police had surrounded, occasionally peeking around the front end.

Around 10:30 p.m., a call across the radio told the crews they could stand down but had to keep Church Street closed.

Fillman reportedly was taken into custody around 10:15 p.m. and taken to the Spring City Police Station for questioning.

Around that time, an armored SWAT vehicle left the scene, first stopping so officers and fire crews could shuffle some vehicles out its way.

“It’s over,” one of the officers, in full tactical gear, told the firefighters closing Church Street at Washington Street before hopping in the back of vehicle and leaving.

There were no reports of injuries.

Police seized the rifle Fillman allegedly used to threaten his wife as well as three other rifles found inside the residence.

In relation to Monday night’s incident, Fillman will face charges of simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, terroristic threats, disorderly conduct and possessing an instrument of crime.

Fillman was arraigned Tuesday in front of District Judge James V. DeAngelo and confined to the Chester County Prison in lieu of $20,000 bail.

According to Kuklinski, his department never dealt with Fillman before. A search of court documents showed Fillman was arrested in Upper Pottsgrove in 2002 for simple assault and physical harassment.

Follow Frank Otto on Twitter @fottojourno.

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