Standoff cases to court
Published 12:52 am Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Two men facing charges stemming from a June 15 standoff with law-enforcement officers in Washington are scheduled to appear in court Thursday, according to court records.
The standoff involving Joseph Gary Gautier, 33, of 320 E. 12th St., ended peacefully with Gautier taken into custody and transported to Beaufort County Medical Center for evaluation. On June 21, Gautier was arrested and charged with making a false bomb report (a felony), discharging a firearm in the city limits and communicating threats. He was placed in the Beaufort County Detention Center under a $250,000 bond, but later he was released after posting bail.
Gautier is scheduled to appear in Beaufort County District Court on Sept. 29, according to court records.
During the standoff, Carter Leary, a relative of Gautier, was taken away in a marked car belonging to the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office. Leary was charged with resisting a public officer and detained in the Beaufort County Detention Center that afternoon, according to an officer there. Leary was released from the jail by the afternoon of June 16.
The standoff began around 8 a.m. and ended about 4:45 p.m. when Gautier was taken into custody. Gautier had placed a call to the police telecommunications center early that morning, according to Washington police Chief Mick Reed.
Gautier “expressed some displeasure over some issues regarding his environment,” Reed said that afternoon.
The arrest warrant for making a false bomb report and discharging a firearm in the city reads that Gautier “did communicate a report by calling the Washington Police Department … knowing and having reason to know the report to be false and there was located in a house the doors were booby trapped with grenades and his backyard has ordinances (ordnance) a device designed to destroy and damage the house by explosion, blasting and burning.”
The warrant also notes that Magistrate Donald R. Sadler found probable cause that Gautier fired his 30-caliber Ruger handgun into the air and ground while in the city limits.
The arrest warrant for communicating threats reads, “The threat was communicated to Cliff Hales by telling him ‘I see you and I’m going in my house to get my 7mm to shoot you, your vest won’t stop anything I got.’ He also fired a weapon in the air and advised Cliff Hales ‘The next one’s gonna be in your head.’”
The warrant also reads that “the threat was made in a manner and under circumstances which would cause a reasonable person to believe that the threat was likely to be carried out and the person threatened believed that the threat would be carried out.”