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Man Who Barricaded Himself Inside Apartment Apologizes For ‘Raucous’

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UPDATED: Sunday June 23, 2013 11:44 PM

James Smith apologized for creating such a raucous Sunday and thanked the officers on the scene for talking him into custody after peacefully surrendering.

Smith barricaded himself inside of his apartment on Fitzroy Place in northeast Columbus Sunday afternoon.

The situation prompted the evacuation of nearby residents.

He said he was upset mostly because he and others were evicted from the apartment complex where he lives.

Donned in a suicide gown and shackled from his wrists to his ankles, Smith asked to speak with 10TV at the jail about why he was so upset.

Franklin County SWAT officers were called out Sunday morning after Smith smashed in the front door of the management office and then barricaded himself inside his northeast side apartment.

Negotiators say Smith threatened to blow up the building and use pistols and poisonous needles.

Smith says this threats were only against himself and because management evicted him and others for not paying rent.

“I was willing to give my life to prove that I'm bigger than that this is serious too many coming in and out of there," said Smith.

A manager at Winterwood Tall Oaks Apartments told 10TV "We file up to 30 evictions a month and actually evict only two for missed rent payments. Smith was two months behind on rent and that's when the problems with him began."

Smith is charged with aggravated menacing and felony vandalism.

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