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Allegedly Suicidal Man Accused Of Starting Gas Leak

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – More than 700 people in Jefferson County are back in their homes after a gas leak during a barricade situation that occurred Wednesday evening.

There was an arrest of a man police said was suicidal after the gas leak forced the hundreds of people to evacuate their homes for several hours.

Michael Paul Pyle was temporarily staying in the home with his mother.

Pyle, 35, eventually surrendered to officers. He is being held on charges of false imprisonment, violation of bond conditions, obstruction of telephone service and failure/refusal to leave premises upon request of a peace officer.

Narci Erskine unloaded her family at a packed D’Evelyn High School after the gas leak forced the evacuation of her neighborhood.

“We live just a few houses up the street from where the man was held up in his home,” Erskine said.

Around 1:40 p.m. the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office received a call regarding a suicidal man inside the home on West Temple Drive.

“A family member reported that he was despondent and had made some statements that concerned her, that he might be a danger to himself or to others,” Mark Techmeyer with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said.

Neighbors reported a strong odor of natural gas from the home and the sheriff’s office sent out a “Code Red” call to residents in 746 homes in the area. Deputies also went door-to-door in the immediate vicinity and encouraged residents to evacuate.

“Seven-hundred-forty-six in the immediate area and then we evacuated the homes that were right around the home itself,” Techmeyer said.

Before being evacuated, Erskine talked to an officer near her home.

“I asked, ‘What happened?’ He initially said it was a gas leak, and then later we found that it was a man who started the gas leak, he was holing himself up in his home,” Erskine said.

By 7:30 p.m. gas was shut off to the home and deputies had the Pyle in custody.

Pyle’s mother told authorities that when she arrived home she could smell natural gas. After speaking with him she believed he could be a danger to himself or others.

At first he would not allow her to leave the house but eventually let her go.

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