COEUR d'ALENE - After a nine-hour standoff with nearly every law enforcement agency in Kootenai County, a SWAT team was able to remove an aggravated assault suspect from his home at the corner of Seventh and Hattie Monday evening, but not before he hurt himself.
About 10 p.m., the SWAT team made entry into the home of Michael Nixon, 31, and found that he had injured himself somehow, said Coeur d'Alene Police Sgt. Christie Wood.
Police scanner traffic indicated that the suspect may have slit his own wrists, but police could not confirm that exactly because during the raid, police discovered a gas leak that they had to deal with immediately, Wood said.
"He is alive," she said. "It's not life threatening, and we did transport him to Kootenai Medical Center.
"Unfortunately, they are dealing with a bigger issue right now," she added. "They discovered a gas leak, and they are working to get everyone out of the area."
Earlier Monday, Coeur d'Alene Police Lt. Rob Turner said the suspect living at 2023 Seventh St. allegedly committed sexual assault against a young female who is believed to be his niece.
Turner said that Nixon held the victim against her will for several hours, while the assault took place. When Nixon finally fell asleep the victim was able to escape from the home.
Police did not originally release Nixon's name, but they did call him Mike as they tried to get him to come out of the house voluntarily.
"They will try to negotiate with him and try to get him to come out on his own - without our officers having to make entry," Turner said, adding that Nixon is known to have a history of weapons offenses.
The officer said that they had reason to believe that Nixon had weapons in the home, and that he has experience using the weapons.
Coeur d'Alene Police arrived at the scene about 1 p.m. where they set up a perimeter around the house. A Coeur d'Alene patrol officer first attempted to make contact with Nixon, but he refused to come to the door.
Turner said at that point a decision was made to get a search warrant and call in the Special Weapons and Tactics Unit. Over the course of four hours, police had closed off a section of Eighth Street to set up a command post. Units from Idaho State Patrol, Kootenai County Sheriff's Office, and Post Falls Police responded to the scene.
An armored SWAT vehicle was brought in along with a robot, called "Elvis," to try and establish communications with Nixon.
By 7 p.m. police were getting ready to deploy Elvis to the residence because police had yet to make contact with the suspect, Turner said.
"We want to try everything we can before we make entry to the home," he said.
Neighbors said the victim lives with her father about three doors down from Nixon's home. About 6:30 p.m. a man claiming to be his brother-in-law came walking up the street offering to help police talk the suspect into giving up.
He told police that family members were watching the standoff live on television broadcast at the hospital. They asked him to see if he could try and do something to diffuse the situation.
The brother-in-law, who would not provide his name, talked with hostage negotiators for several minutes before leaving the scene.
Turner said that hostage negotiators don't normally allow family members to communicate with the suspects in those situation because too many things could go wrong.
"That could initiate an emotional response, which could potentially result in suicide, or even make someone combative," he said. "You never know, he could say the wrong thing and really cause some problems."