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Standoff ends; two arrested

August 13, 2013

Two people were arrested early today following an eight-hour standoff at the Plaza Inn on W. Interstate 20. (HERALD photo/Steve Reagan)

An eight-hour standoff with Big Spring police officers ended with the arrest of two people this morning.

Jesse Lopez, 45, and Teresa Lang, 30, were in custody following the standoff that began when Big Spring Police Department narcotics investigators, acting on a Crimestoppers tip, responded to Room 101 at the Plaza Inn, 700 W. Interstate 20, at about 6:30 p.m. Monday.

“The information received stated that a wanted subject, identified as Lopez, was in the room,” BSPD Public Information Officer Sgt. Tony Everett said. “Lopez was wanted on a parole revocation warrant stemming from drug charges.”

When officers knocked on the door, Lopez refused to open it, saying he had a gun and would kill himself.
“At this point, officers backed off and called support personnel,” Everett said. “Because of the circumstances, the SWAT team was called to the scene, as were negotiators.”

While negotiators talked to Lopez, police established a perimeter, evacuated people in nearby rooms and obtained a search warrant, Everett said.

“It was learned that a female was in the room with Lopez, but was not a hostage,” he said. “A second male was believed to be in the room, also, but this turned out to be false.”

The female in the room was subsequently identified as Lang, who police learned was wanted on a warrant for drug charges.

Negotiations between Lopez and police continued for several hours without success and, at one point, officers reported seeing Lopez through the window holding what appeared to be a gun to his head.

Finally determining that negotiations had reached an impasse, police decided to introduced chemical agents (tear gas) into the room, Everett said.

“At about 1:50 a.m. (today), Lang opened the door and fled the room and was taken into custody,” Everett said. “About one hour later, Lopez came out and was taken into custody.”

Lopez and Lang were transported to Scenic Mountain Medical Center's emergency for treatment, then were jailed at the Howard County Detention Center.

They were in custody awaiting booking as of 9 a.m. today, jail officials said.

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