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Dodge Center standoff ends with one man in custody

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DODGE CENTER, Minn. – One man is in custody after a 4 ½ hour standoff that led to a shelter-in-place order for Dodge Center.

The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office says deputies were called to a home in the 500 block of 3rd Avenue NW around 11:19 am Monday on a report of a male threatening to shoot a female if she didn’t leave the residence. A female at the scene told deputies she and two other family members were trying to get John Lentz, 65, to go to St. Marys Hospital for a mental evaluation. The female said Lentz has a history of mental illness.

A deputy then spoke with Lentz’ roommate, who stated that he got into a struggle with Lentz when he saw him holding his dog down on the floor. The roommate said that led to Lentz putting him in a chokehold and repeatedly hitting him in the face. The roommate told deputies he got Lentz secured in a bedroom but then heard him opening a gun safe. Lentz then allegedly stated that if the female did not leave his house, he would shoot her. Both the roommate and the female left and said they saw Lentz through the window holding a long gun.

The Triton School District was placed on a soft lockdown and deputies went door-to-door evacuating the neighborhood and securing a 6-block area around Lentz’ home. A shelter-in-place warning was sent out at 12:34 pm and the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office says it requested help from the Kasson Police Department, Minnesota State Patrol, Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office, Olmsted/Rochester ERU, and Dodge Center Fire and Ambulance.

The Sheriff’s Office says Lentz walked out his door around 12:40 pm, threatened officers, and then went back inside.

Olmsted/Rochester ERU used a drone and a robot to try and get Lentz to take a cell phone and speak with a negotiator. When that didn’t work, the ERU sent a “distraction device” into Lentz’ home to encourage him to cooperate. The ERU says they got no response.

A search warrant was then issued for Lentz’ home around 4:30 pm, after an arrest warrant had already been issued on charges of domestic assault by strangulation, terroristic threats, and fifth-degree misdemeanor assault. The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office says the ERU breached the windows on the southeast side of Lentz’ home to try and get a response. Officers say they could see Lentz walking around inside but he refused to respond or exit his home.

A third window was then breached at 4:52 pm and the Sheriff’s Office says that’s when Lentz surrendered. He has been taken to St. Marys Hospital for evaluation and will be held for the charges pending against him.

Previous story below

KIMT-TV 3 – A shelter-in-place Monday in Dodge County began with a domestic situation involving a 65-year-old man before he threatened to shoot anyone who approached him.

The situation is taking place in the 500 block of 3rd Avenue NW in Dodge Center. People are being asked to stay away from the area until further notice.

Authorities said Monday afternoon that schools were on lockdown and that the 65-year-old man is the only person in the home. 

Crisis negotiators are on the scene.

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