Former Sheriff in four hour standoff with police

Former Kent County Sheriff James Higdon is undergoing a mental health evaluation, after barricading himself inside his home and threatening to shoot police officers.

The standoff started at Higdon’s home on Laurel Drive in Dover Wednesday afternoon.  Officers were trying to serve a warrant on Higdon for violating a protection from abuse order.  Higdon talked to officers through a window, but refused to come out of his home. Higdon held police at bay, threatening to shoot at the officers and threatening to shoot himself.  Police evacuated people living in nearby homes as a precaution. 

The standoff lasted nearly four hours before the Dover Police Special Operations Response Team forced their way into the home and arrested Higdon without incident.  Inside the home, Dover Police say they found two guns, even though Higdon was not allowed to have weapons as a result of the protection from abuse order.

He was taken to BayHealth Medical Center and committed to the Rockford Center for a mental health evaluation.  He’s facing charges including resisting arrest and terroristic threatening.

Higdon served as Kent County Sheriff from 1995 through 2010, but he does have a history on the other side of the law as well.  In June 2010, he was charged with DUI after being caught driving with an excessive level of alcohol in his system.  State Police say Higdon’s blood alcohol level was 0.256%, more than three times Delaware’s legal limit of 0.08%.  Even though he pled guilty on the DUI charges and lost his license, Higdon continued his run for re-election as Sheriff.  Higdon, a Republican, was defeated by Democratic challenger Norman Wood by nearly ten percentage points.

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