What Happened At Amarillo La Quinta Inn?
When I got to baseball practice for my youngest son yesterday, all the talk with the parents was wrapped around one thing...and it wasn't baseball.
Everyone was wondering what was going on at the La Quinta Inn on Coulter St. yesterday. Now we're getting some answers.
If you were near the area yesterday, it was a harrowing scene. Amarillo PD was all over the place along with SWAT. They had the building surrounded, weapons pulled and at the ready. Truly a scary scene.
Thankfully, everything ended up ok from the incident. However, that doesn't stop the questions of what was happening there and why it got to that point.
The suspect, 51-year-old Tony Len Nichols, was arrested for unlawful restraint and deadly conduct. I know, that's a fancy police and legal term, so let's break this down into layman's terms.
Mr. Nichols was holed up in a room at the hotel and had a hostage inside that he was holding. This was after someone called in saying there was a man yelling and waving a gun outside the hotel.
Now usually in a hostage situation, several things take place. First things first, police try and communicate with the suspect inside and go through negotiation tactics. They try to dig into why they're holding someone hostage and how they can help the suspect so they'll release the hostage.
There are a lot of different reasons people get held hostage, so each situation is relatively unique. The suspect makes demands, police say they'll either handle it or not. It all depends on the ask. They won't mislead the suspect just to get them out, but they'll try and get it done.
If the suspect doesn't comply, much like yesterday, things get tense and police are forced to get the hostage out by any means. SWAT released a chemical irritant into the room until it was too much for the suspect to handle and he came out.
The hostage was ok and released while the suspect was arrested and booked.