A man wanted in Pickens County and armed with an AR 15 gun surrendered to Cherokee County Sheriff Roger Garrison on Friday afternoon following a two-hour standoff at the home of the man’s mother on Brick Mill Road in Canton.
Kenneth Lee Nelson, 40, of Jasper, was arrested at about 4:30 p.m. Friday after Garrison talked him into coming out of the home he had barricaded himself in with his elderly mother and son inside, said Lt. Col. Ron Hunton, field operations commander at the Sheriff’s Office.
Hunton said deputies responded to the 2300 block of Brick Mill Road at about 2:30 p.m. after being flagged down by Nelson’s son, who told police that his father was in the house and had threatened to shoot police if they came to arrest him on his warrants in Pickens County. Hunton said Nelson is wanted on charges of aggravated assault and violation of a temporary protection order in Pickens County.
“(The young man said) he was armed…and that he had threatened to kill the police if they came to the home to execute the warrant,” Hunton said. Nelson has also been arrested in Cherokee County a number of times, Hunton said.
After being alerted of the situation, deputies began to surround the house and called in SWAT and negotiators to talk him into surrendering peacefully.
“Once they made contact with him, he would not cooperate and come out,” Hunton said. But Hunton said the crisis ended after the sheriff arrived and spoke with Nelson on the phone.
“Luckily for us, Sheriff Garrison knows the family,” Hunton said.
Garrison said he has personally dealt with Nelson in the past in other incidents and thought he could be effective in talking him down.
“After about 10 minutes, I was able to convince him to come out and surrender to me and the SWAT team,” Garrison said. “He did that successfully, without incident. We then recovered that loaded AR 15 that he did in fact have inside the home.”
Hunton said Garrison’s actions weren’t exactly “orthodox,” as negotiators normally lead such situations.
“It’s not necessarily what the book says, but the problem is these people we deal with, they don’t read the same book,” Hunton said. “It’s important for police officers to be able to adapt to different situations and have the ability to think on their feet.”
Nelson was not charged in Cherokee County and was transported to the Pickens County jail after the incident, said Lt. Jay Baker, spokesman for the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office. According to the Pickens County jail, as of early Friday night, Nelson had not been booked in and his bond not set.