Bell Circle standoff ends

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By Patrick Yost editor

An argument between a woman’s son and her boyfriend turned violent and led to a brief standoff between police and a man at a Bell Circle residence. Joseph Ryan Bishop, 35, Madison, was charged with aggravated assault, terroristic threats and simple battery after he allegedly threatened to shoot the son with a 9mm pistol early Sunday morning, May 18. According to Madison Police Department reports, officers were called to the Bell Circle residence at approximately 3 a.m. and when they arrived they found a 22–year–old man and another man in the road in front of the house. Both men told the officer that Bishop was inside the house and had threatened to kill one of the men.

Reports state that a woman with a small child left the residence and the officer warned a neighboring couple to also leave their residence. Several officers, including Madison Police Chief Bill Ashburn, and deputies from the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office surrounded the house and a SWAT team from Walton County was requested. Officer Jeremy Hoffman attempted to make contact with Bishop but Bishop did not respond to verbal commands to come out of the house. While officers were attempting to coerce Bishop to leave the house, his mother, reports state, and the alleged victim started a verbal altercation and had to be separated and forced apart.

At 4:50 a.m. Bishop emerged from the residence with a dark object in his hand. Five officers approached the front porch, commanding Bishop to drop the item, which was later determined to be a cordless phone. After his arrest, reports state, Bishop “displayed signs of extreme intoxication” and was not able to understand interview questions. The 22–year–old victim and another man said they were at the Bell Circle house to watch a fight and after the fight they continued to “socialize” with Bishop and Bishop began to argue about an incident that had happened a year ago. Eventually, reports state, Bishop allegedly struck the man with a baton and Bishop was pushed to the ground and was held until the men could flee the residence.

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