Police Standoff Streamed Live on Facebook

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SCRANTON -- A man was arrested following an all-night standoff that some people watched live on social media.

Police swarmed Cedar Avenue on Scranton's south side after a man's family called 911 worried he might hurt himself. Police say he had a shotgun and swords in the house.

During those hours, one man streamed portions of the police activity live on Facebook.

SWAT teams and the bomb squad were all called to the home around 2 a.m. Sunday after that man sent out texts that left his family worried about his safety.

Neighbors feared the worst.

“I was scared. My mom just told me to go up to my room and sit there. We heard like gun shots,” said Shannon Ryan of Scranton.

Officers fired tear gas into the home.

By mid-morning, police found the man hiding in the attic. They cuffed him and led him into an ambulance for a trip to the hospital.

“I am just glad nobody got hurt, no fire, no gun fire, and everybody is safe,” Amy Ryan of Scranton said.

While neighbors on Cedar Avenue watched what was going on, some people were also watching on their cell phones and computers because one man was streaming the scene live on Facebook.

Complete with commentary, Marcus Martinez streamed more than an hour of the action including two SWAT team members standing on an awning entering the home’s second floor.

Warning: This video contains some graphic language.

Some neighbors wondered if the target of the raid, hiding in the attic, might be watching the live feed, too.

“Showing them what they are doing, which side of the house they are going into, what doors they are entering, what tools they have. That should never be allowed,” said John Gilhooley of Scranton.

Gilhooley believes police should be able to stop citizen journalists from broadcasting at sensitive crime scenes.

“I think in a SWAT vehicle, there should be a cell phone blocker. If you are driving into a live crime scene, why not have a cell phone blocker where they cannot broadcast out?”

Police in Scranton tell Newswatch 16 if someone is broadcasting live video from a standoff, officers can only request that they stop.

“We can ask them, but we cannot force them to stop live streaming,” said Captain Dennis Lukasewicz, Scranton Police Department.

That means officers safety could be in the hands of anyone with a cell phone.

Newswatch 16 spoke with Marcus Martinez. He said he wasn't really thinking about whether the target of the standoff might be watching his live video. He just wanted to show people what was going on.


  • Henry Watson

    What’s the difference than if there had been a live truck there? News is allowed to stream but no one else can?

    • Negotiator was at the other end of the block

      Well what’s is another way. I understand there is a way of tagging cell calls coming from a specific area they were used in IRAQ if all had a tag it would be a way for streaming sights to flag a specific steam for review

  • Just 5 Doors Down

    Didn’t that scene look oldie familiar? WACO and seeing the police on that roof let them know where to shoot.
    People should NOT endanger anyone willing to hold there composure from 1:55 am until around 11:00 am and not injure anyone. We were told he was armed and we should stay back. We watched as the swat team went about there business. And when they did get him the only injuries he had were self inflected. I say anything we can do keep swat and regular police safe we should. Cell blockers are used at my daughters school. Maybe we would stop rushing to judgment so fast if these people had to wait until it was over to post them it may allow facebook or others to decide what was appropriate. What if it was your son in there would you want someone broadcasting live and you see at work or someone shows you it when you are powerless to be there. And the last thing you may see is your loved killed or hurt police or puritrater

    • Spelling police

      It’s “their” not “there” on 2 occasions. I’ll give you credit for the few times you spelled it correctly. D- for you, still.

  • walk away

    The cops need to start letting these aholes kill themselves. Now he will go to state prison for 2 years and come out being more of a menace to society than what he already is. Happens everytime.

  • Jim

    It could of made the situation much worse if the man hold up wanted to kill police. He could watch it and know exactly. Where. Police where. Man was within his rights to film but didn’t think of what problems it could of caused. Live and learn for the future.

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