SWAT Standoff in Brentwood Borough After Bank Holdup
" ... I can't imagine who on this street would have robbed a bank, never thinking it (could have been) him." - Neighbor
Moon Township police have identified the man involved in an armed standoff on Sunday night in Brentwood Borough as the suspect in an armed robbery of the Citizens Bank branch in the Giant Eagle on Moon's University Boulevard earlier on Sunday.
Authorities said that Christopher Lyons, 31, underwent surgery overnight at UPMC Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh after he stabbed himself in the neck, wrist and leg during the standoff. Moon police said that the standoff began after they arrived with a warrant to search Lyons' home at 103 Beisner Ave. in Brentwood, just over the Whitehall Borough border, and that Lyons holed up inside the Beisner home after confronting officers with a gun and a knife.
Investigators identified and located Lyons in Brentwood after tracing the license plate number of a black Cadillac Escalade spotted by witnesses on Ohio River Boulevard. The SUV is believed to be the same one that sped away from the Giant Eagle in Moon on Sunday afternoon after a man held up the bank inside that grocery store.
Moon police said that Brentwood police plan to charge Lyons with violating laws prohibiting a felon from possessing a gun. Moon police have not yet charged Lyons in connection with the bank holdup, but they said that they have seized the Escalade and are examining it for evidence.
Neighbors on Beisner and on nearby Lawnview Avenue said that Lyons lived by himself with only a pet dog.
"He's been here about two years and never bothered anybody," said one woman, a Beisner resident. "Never spoke. Kept to himself. Was quiet. Didn't really speak to anybody."
Theresa Caporali, who lives across the street from 103 Beisner on 3194 Lawnview, said that she knew Lyons well enough to have brief conversations with him.
"He loved his dog," said Caporali, who spoke from her front lawn while she held her 5-year-old Yorkshire terrier, Mimi. "I'm a dog lover, and (his dog) was the sweetest.
"He (Lyons) was nice. I'm so upset. I can't believe it. What would have possessed him? And then he came here (to Beisner). He was here all day (on Sunday). He was holed up here all day. His vehicle was here.
" ... I can't imagine who on this street would have robbed a bank, never thinking it (could have been) him."
Caporali couldn't think of any reason that Lyons would steal money.
"He worked," she said. "Quarter after 6, every morning, he would leave for work, like clockwork. (And he came home) around dinnertime."
Police used tear gas to get into Lyons' home.
Lyons' residence is part of a two-family rental property. His next-door neighbors, a male and female couple at 105 Beisner, said that they didn't know Lyons well but that they would exchange hellos.
"He was nice," the female said. "Not to be cliché, but he was nice."
The male and female were forced to leave the building while the SWAT team was on the scene.
The building is owned by a private individual.
This article originally appeared on the Moon Patch.