GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — A man was arrested by Guilford County deputies on Tuesday after a 12-hour standoff.
“They just shot the door open…he seems to be OK walking with his hands behind his back. They got him,” said Alexa Tkatch as she was on the phone with FOX8, the moment the suspect was arrested.
She watched with other anxious neighbors as the standoff came to a peaceful resolution.
Charles Nichols is now in custody and facing charges after Guilford County deputies say he fired shots at them and barricaded himself inside his High Point home.
Fortunately, no one was injured during the standoff, but neighbors are in shock about what they witnessed in their normally quiet community.
They describe the experience as captivating and terrifying. It started Monday night with a traffic stop and ended Tuesday morning as deputies went into the house and arrested Nichols.
“We’re not trying to hurt anybody, and we don’t want to be hurt” is just one of the messages over the megaphone and pleas to surrender that neighbors heard for nearly 12 hours.
“Later, I woke up in the middle of the night with just a microphone…hearing ‘Surrender. Come out peacefully. Put your hands up in the air,” said Tkatch, who lives just down the road from the standoff.
Tkatch was up all night worrying and wondering what was going on.
“It’s terrifying because you always think of your home as a safe place to be in…when this turned out to be in different terms, it’s like ‘what do you do in that moment?’ It was an emotional roller coaster for all of us,” she said.
Once the sun came up, she went over to a neighbor’s house where many of them were watching together.
“At each perimeter, there was a cop or guard around hidden in the bushes, trees, ready to aim,” she said. “There was a couple windows broken, and the suspect was refusing to come out.”
The suspect barricaded himself in his home alone after police followed him home when trying to make a traffic stop because Nichols had outstanding warrants out for stalking and assault with a deadly weapon.
Sheriff Danny Rogers says his deputies were familiar with the suspect before the standoff.
“We have dealt with Mr. Nichols,” Sheriff Rogers said.
He’s glad to see this come to a peaceful end without anyone getting hurt.
“We do what we can do to make sure we can preserve life. We can make sure that we do the things that people need because we don’t want to see nobody losing life. We don’t want deputies injured or losing life,” Sheriff Rogers said.
It took a lot of patience, but Nichols finally was arrested.
“For it all to end smoothly, it took time, but they did the work,” Tkatch said.
Residents are thankful it ended the way it did and now are just praying for their neighbor.
“We understand it’s not under his control with mental health…the problems he has to face, we hope he can get the help he needs,” she said.
Nichols is facing two new charges for fleeing to elude and resist, obstruct, delay, but the sheriff says additional charges are likely also on the way.