Standoff ends with house burning down and man taken to hospital

By Calvin Palmer

The siege of a home in a Connecticut suburb ended last night around midnight when Richard Shenkman emerged from the house two hours after he had set it on fire.

Shenkman, 60, was taken into custody by police and is receiving treatment for smoke inhalation at Hartford Hospital.

South Windsor Police Commander Matthew Reed said Shenkman is likely to be arraigned in hospital later today. The charges will included arson, kidnapping and reckless endangerment.

Police say Shenkman kidnapped his wife, Nancy Tyler, in the parking lot of her workplace in downtown Hartford yesterday morning and kept her hostage at a house on Tumblebrook Drive, South Windsor.

The pair had been due in court for another round in their protracted divorce. He had repeatedly refused a judge’s order to vacate the house in Tumblebrook Drive and turn it over to Tyler.

Tyler eventually emerged from the house unharmed at 8:27 p.m. It is not known whether she escaped or was released. She was taken to St Francis Hospital after debriefing by police.

Shortly afterwards shots rang out and the house was set on fire. Shenkman refused to leave the burning building and at one point pleaded with police to shoot him. Around midnight he had had enough and surrendered.

This morning fire officials and the bomb squad were searching for any traces of explosives. Shenkman had claimed to have wired the house with explosives.

[Based on a report by The Hartford Courant.]

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