Woman, babysitter arrested after Manchester standoff
MANCHESTER - Police surrounded a Cartier Street apartment building on the city's West Side Tuesday night after receiving a report that a woman threatened another woman with a gun and was holed up inside with some children.
The incident began about 9:30 p.m. Natasha Oxley, 28, of 346 Dubuque St. told police Melissa Murray, 35, of 456 Cartier St., had come to her apartment looking for her brother, Robert Oxley, 29. Murray's son, Tyler Murray, 18, of 456 Cartier St., had a dispute with Oxley's brother, police said.
Oxley told officers when she opened the door, Murray was standing there with a gun pointed at her demanding to know where her brother was. Robert Oxley was not there. The gun, recovered later by police in Murray's apartment, turned out to be a BB gun, but Manchester police Lt. Maureen Tessier said Oxley did not know that at the time of the incident.
Oxley quickly shut the door and called police, who went to Murray's Cartier Street address. As officers neared the building, they saw Murray on the porch, but she, spotting them, ran back into the apartment, police said.
A woman standing outside the building, whose name Tessier would not release, told officers her children were inside the apartment being babysat by Heidi Harrington, 17, of 363 Rimmon St. Police surrounded the building and attempted to coax Murray out of the apartment.
Police said Murray and Harrington yelled out windows to police, refusing to open the door or surrender the children. About 20 minutes later, police were able to negotiate the children's release.
Melissa Murray was talking on a cellphone when she opened the door to let the children out, and Officer Joe Ryan pulled her out of the doorway and wrestled her to the ground. Tessier said Murray fell face first and ended up with a bloody nose.
The children were not injured in the incident.
Murray was charged with criminal threatening, criminal mischief and resisting detention. She also was arrested for hindering apprehension in an unrelated incident involving her son, Tyler, Saturday. Melissa Murray is accused of hiding him from police who had warrants for his arrest for fraudlent use of a stolen credit card.
Police said Murray had a restraining order against her son, who was barred from having contact with her but was hiding inside her apartment on Saturday when officers arrived to arrest him.
Tyler Murray was arraigned in 9th Circuit Court, Manchester District Division, Monday on the fraud charge as well as three charges of resisting arrest, contempt and violation of a domestic violence protective order. His bail was set at $6,000 cash/surety with trial set for Jan. 24, 2013.
Melissa Murray was arraigned Wednesday morning in 9th Circuit Court, Manchester District Division, where she could enter no plea to the felony charge of criminal threatening involving the BB gun. A probable cause hearing was set for Dec. 12.
She pleaded innocent to the Nov. 24 charge of hindering apprehension involving her son, as well as Tuesday night charges of resisting detention and criminal mischief, for allegedly breaking windows at the Dubuque Street address. Trial on those charges was set for Feb. 6, 2013.
A police prosecutor sought $4,000 cash/surety bail for Melissa Murray, who asked Judge Gregory Michael for personal recognizance bail.
"I'm not a flight risk," Murray told Michael, but he said bail is also to protect the public. He set bail at $1,000 cash/surety on the felony and $3,000 personal recognizance on the misdemeanor charges. Bail conditions bar contact with Natasha Oxley.
Harrington was arrested at the Cartier Street address without incident on a charge of obstructing government administration and was also arraigned Wednesday morning in Circuit Court, where police prosecutors sought $500 cash/surety bail.
A man who identified himself as Harrington's father told the judge his daughter is a good kid and he didn't understand how she could be charged for not opening the door at someone else's residence.
Judge Michael said that would be addressed at Harrington's trial, which was set for Feb. 6, 2013. Michael set bail for Harrington at $1,000 personal recognizance.
(Dale Vincent contributed to this report.)