Incident #: 50-15-10009 Date/Time: Sunday, April 19th, 2015 at 2:47AM
Location: Unit Block of Primrose Drive, Dover, Delaware
Officer Releasing Information: Cpl. Mark Hoffman, Public Information Officer
At approximately 2:47AM, officers from the Dover Police Department responded to the unit block of Primrose Drive for a call of a possible burglary in progress. While investigating the call, officers found that the noise that startled the caller was coming from a nearby residence. As officers approached the residence, they heard a loud noise that was thought to be a gun shot. After hearing what they believed to be a gunshot, officers observed smoke coming from the residence and notified the Dover Fire Department. Once the Dover Fire Department arrived on scene, entry was made into the residence and firefighters extinguished a small kitchen fire. While checking the remainder of the residence, Cliffton Stevens (39) charged the firefighters and chased them out of the residence, throwing objects at them. Officers and firefighters observed that Stevens had multiple self-inflicted injuries to his body. Officers attempted to take Stevens into custody due to his manic behavior, however he was able to retreat into the residence and barricade both doorways. The Dover Police Department Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT) and Special Operations Response Team (SORT) responded to the scene. For over four hours, officers made numerous efforts to contact Stevens to negotiate a safe exit; including the use of various forms of telephone communications, LRAD (Long Range Acoustic Device), and other tools. During this time, it was learned that Stevens suffered from a mental condition that was responsible for his behavior. Despite the efforts, Stevens refused to answer and communicate with police. Officers from the Dover Police Special Operations Response Team, with assistance from officers of the Delaware State Police, made a strategic entry into the residence. Despite Stevens violently struggling with officers, police were successful in the safe rescue of Stevens from the residence. He was immediately transported to a local hospital for treatment for his condition and his self-inflicted injuries. During the ordeal, area residences were evacuated and held in the community pool house parking lot for their safety. The Dover Police Department would like to thank the Dover Fire Department and Delaware State Police for their response and efforts in aiding Stevens and protecting the surrounding neighbors.
This incident is not related to any incident involving the Delaware State University as some media outlets have reported.