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Standoff ends safely in Turners Falls

TURNERS FALLS — A 63-year-old local man was arrested on assault and firearms charges after a three-hour standoff with police.

Mark Holland, 63, of 74 Turnpike Road, was arraigned on charges of assault with a dangerous weapon (handgun), threatening to commit a crime (murder), carrying a dangerous weapon, carrying a firearm without a license, possession of a large-capacity firearm, improper storage of a large-capacity firearm, possession of a large-capacity feeding device, illegal possession of ammunition, domestic assault and disorderly conduct, in Greenfield District Court Thursday. He pleaded innocent.

Police responded to Holland’s residence at about 8 p.m. Wednesday, after his roommate reported that Holland pointed a semiautomatic 9mm handgun at him and threatened to “blow his head off,” according to Montague Police Chief Charles “Chip” Dodge.

Dodge said the roommate ran from the apartment after being threatened.

The chief said the two men had been arguing about a transaction involving money. When police apprehended Holland, said Dodge, he appeared to be drunk and reeked of alcohol.

Police shut down Turnpike Road from Montague City Road to Dell Street during the standoff. The State Police Tactical Operations Team and bomb squad, as well as officers from Greenfield, Gill, Erving and Deerfield responded to assist Montague police. The Highway Department assisted with road closures, and a Western Massachusetts Electric Co. crew stood by in case police needed street lights to be shut off.

State police negotiators were able to reach Holland by phone at about 10:40 p.m., and he agreed to surrender, according to Dodge. Holland left the residence and was taken into custody without incident.

Police then conducted a sweep of the apartment, and immediately discovered “an apparatus with wires and such coming out of it, that made them concerned that it could be an explosive device,” said Dodge. The device was deemed by the bomb squad not to be an explosive, the chief said.

Police recovered the handgun, a large-capacity Walther P99 9mm semiautomatic, a large-capacity magazine, and ammunition, said Dodge. Dodge said Holland does not possess a firearms license.

Holland was released after his arraignment and a dangerousness hearing Thursday.

David Rainville can be reached at:
or 413-772-0261, ext. 279

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