NEW SCOTLAND: Fugitive caught after standoff

A Krumkill Road man wanted for crimes in Florida held police at bay outside his home for nine hours before several rounds of tear gas forced him to give up.

Paul Harris, 44, was arraigned Friday afternoon, Jan. 5, in New Scotland Town Court by Judge Thomas Dolin.

Harris was charged with three violations in New York to go along with his outstanding warrants in Florida. They include resisting arrest, criminal possession of a weapon fourth degree and being a fugitive from justice.

It is not clear how long Harris has been in the Albany area. Albany County Sheriff James Campbell said a Colonie police officer on patrol identified Harris' vehicle around 1:30 a.m. on Sand Creek Road on Thursday, Jan. 4.

The police officer was going in one direction, and the suspect was driving in the opposite direction, said Campbell.

Harris was gone by the time the officer began his pursuit. Albany County Sheriff's Department was contacted next and a short time later Harris' car was spotted sitting in a field next to a home along Krumkill Road, police said. Police tried to enter the residence at 881 Krumkill, but there was no response from the three people inside. Police then surrounded the building and tried to coerce Harris into give up.

"He did speak to us twice, but didn't say much," said Campbell.

Harris' son Jonathan came out with his girlfriend about six hours later, but Harris remained inside. The standoff continued until after 11 a.m. when a decision was made to use tear gas to force Harris out.

"A total of seven rounds of tear gas was fired, and about 20 minutes later we noticed Harris trying to get some air," said Campbell. He was then appre-hended and taken into custody.

Harris's first scrape with the law in Florida occurred last year when he allegedly hit a law enforcement officer with his vehicle on Jan. 7, 2006, in Indian River County, Fla., after attempting to flee from a traffic stop when two deputies stopped him for speeding. Harris is believed to have had drugs in his possession at the time of the traffic stop and a child inside the car.

He was wanted on several outstanding warrants including resisting arrest, escape and assault and battery. Harris also faces a drug possession charge in Albany County.

The defendant entered a plea of not guilty. Harris was taken back into custody with no bail. The case is adjourned until Feb. 1 in New Scotland Town Court.""

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