Police remove barricaded man from hotel room after night of terrorizing, pepper spraying officers

Photo: Evan Michael Essig

A man who reportedly barricaded himself in a Harrison hotel, set off the fire alarms, flooded his room and the hallway and attempted to start a fire in a trash can remains in the Boone County Detention Center.During the effort to remove 36-year-old Evan Michael Essig of Bremerton, Washington, from his hotel room, he allegedly deployed pepper spray on law enforcement officers, injuring one to the point he could not see. The officer had to be escorted from the scene.

According to the probable cause affidavit released Tuesday, the incident began on the evening of Feb. 14, just before 7 at the Hampton Inn. Boone County 911 personnel advised Harrison Police Essig had repeatedly called their office requesting to speak with the FBI, a lawyer and his uncle. At the same time, an employee of the hotel was contacting police to report Essig had set off the fire alarm in one of the rooms.

When they made contact with Essig, who had barricaded himself in his room, he reportedly said if police came in, he would shoot and kill them with the firearm he had in his possession.

As officers waited to secure a search warrant, they learned Essig had reportedly caused damage within his room, had broken out a window on the third floor and flooded some of the hotel areas.

Shortly after 10, officers attempted to gain entry to the room. But even using tools, including a battering ram, they were unable to gain complete access. They were able to make a gap and see partially into the room. In doing so, Essig is alleged to have deployed pepper spray, injuring the officer.

A short time later, access was gained into the hotel room by the Harrison Police Department Special Operations Team and an actively fighting Essig was taken into custody.

While processing the room, the trash can was located where it appeared Essig had attempted to start a fire. However, the sprinkler system had activated, extinguishing the fire and causing the water damage.

The sprinkler system caused water damage from the third to the first floor. The area hotel manager estimated the damage cost at $100,000.

Essig has been charged with felony counts of criminal mischief, second-degree battery (two counts) and terroristic threatening, as well as a misdemeanor count of arson. His bond was set at $25,000.

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