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14 Jul 2015

Watertown Man Surrenders to Police After Robbery Turns to Standoff

By: Daniel Flatley, Times Staff Writer | Published: Friday, July 10, 2015 at 12:30 AM

WATERTOWN — A Watertown man was taken into custody after a robbery turned into a lengthy standoff with city police Thursday morning.

Javon C. Dobbins, 36, was charged by city police with second-degree robbery and second-degree criminal use of a weapon after he allegedly used a black and silver pellet gun to steal a benefit card from a person at 264 S. Massey St. about 7 a.m.

Detective Lt. Joseph R. Donoghue said a neighbor witnessed the robbery and reported it to police, who tracked Mr. Dobbins to his home at 196 Stone St., Apt. 3.

Mr. Dobbins remained holed up inside his apartment for more than four hours Thursday morning.

“Our dispatch received a report of a home invasion armed robbery that occurred at a South Massey Street residence at 6:59 a.m.,” Mr. Donoghue said. “With the assistance of the Jefferson County sheriff department’s K-9, the dog did track to the front door of the residence at 196 (Stone St.), and we set up our post and got prepared to make contact with the occupant.”

After repeated attempts to contact the suspect, 10 members of the Watertown Police Special Response Team were mobilized, and Mr. Donoghue said Mr. Dobbins surrendered to the officers on his front lawn.

“We were in attempt to make contact,” Mr. Donoghue said. “We did leave messages for him and we were preparing to use the bullhorn because he wasn’t answering, but he did come shortly after the second message.”

No shots were fired and Mr. Donoghue said no one was injured. The suspect was placed in a patrol car and taken to the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building for questioning. He was arraigned at 2:15 p.m. in City Court, where his bail was set at $25,000 cash or $50,000 bond.

At the Stone Street scene, a tenant of the neighboring 10-unit apartment building, who would not identify himself, said he came home about 8 a.m. and was told by police to leave the area. “They just stopped me from going in,” he said.

The tenant waited in an adjacent parking lot while police prepared to storm Mr. Dobbins’s apartment building, formerly known as the Watertown Music Center.

Both apartment buildings are operated as transitional living space through a program for clients from Credo Community Center for the Treatment of Addictions.

Police blocked off Stone Street while they waited for the special response team to arrive. Throughout the incident, a city police officer with a long gun was seen hiding behind the Trinity Episcopal Church parish center across the street.

The unidentified tenant said he has lived in his apartment on the first floor for about a year, in which time he has had little contact with Mr. Dobbins. He said saw him last week.

“I said ‘Hi’ and I moved on, you know,” he said. “I keep to myself.” Small pockets of curiosity seekers gathered to watch the police activity while they speculated what was happening.

Mr. Dobbins previously has been charged with the theft of a manhole cover and two incidents of driving while intoxicated, one in 2003 and another in 2004. To see video of the standoff, visit Stone Street Arrest