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Gosford Lembhard in custody after Newburgh standoff


Lembhard Photo Credit: News12

Police in the City of Newburgh on Wednesday afternoon ended a daylong standoff by taking into custody the brother of a man they shot dead in a confrontation in March, police said.

Bystanders charged past police tape and began screaming and causing a frenzy after the arrest of Gosford Lembhard, 26, some 10 hours after the incident began, News12 reported.

The standoff, which police said involved Lembhard taking four or five people hostage inside his house, ended peacefully, according to authorities, who refused to release any other details immediately.

Lembhard, the oldest brother of Michael Lembhard, jumped out of a first-floor front window and was immediately tackled by police, who charged up the steps of his mother's Liberty Street house, News12 reported. Police used a stun gun on him several times while restraining him.

The standoff began about 6 a.m. Wednesday, when Gosford Lembhard waved a gun at police after they tried to serve him with an arrest warrant for failure to appear in court on an attempted murder charge, News12 reported.

Police left the house and took up positions outside while Gosford Lembhard took the hostages -- including his 10-year-old niece -- inside, News12 reported.

Gosford Lembhard was charged with weapons possession Sept. 14 after allegedly firing a gun toward an occupied car, family attorney Michael Sussman told News12. A grand jury indicted him Nov. 5 on an attempted murder charge, and he was supposed to appear in Orange County Court on Nov. 9 but didn't show, according to Sussman.

Speaking to a News12 reporter from inside the home Wednesday, Gosford Lembhard said the charges are "fraudulent" and added that police are pressuring the victim to file charges against him. He said he was afraid of a repeat of his brother's killing.

Gosford Lembhard's cousin, Juanita King, disputed reports that the people in the home were hostages.

The early-morning arrival of police frightened the home's occupants, who thought a robbery might have been in progress, and forced them to flee to the back of the house with Gosford Lembhard, she said.

"It's not a hostage situation. It's a family that's scared because they don't know what's going on," King told News12 hours before the arrest.

"He doesn't have a problem coming out," King said of Gosford Lembhard. "He's just scared to come out because of the way his brother was killed. He doesn't think he'll make it through the house."

After the arrest, Sussman praised the police response.

"From the police chief on down, there was a resolve on the part of the police agency to end this peacefully," Sussman told News12.

Michael Lembhard, 22, was hit by 13 bullets, including several in the back, after he fled from police and then struggled with two Newburgh officers at his sister's apartment March 7.

The officers were trying to serve Michael Lembhard with several outstanding arrest warrants, including one for allegedly threatening his girlfriend, when police say he lunged at them with a knife. They then shot and killed him.

An autopsy later found PCP, also known as angel dust, as well as marijuana in his system.

In July, a grand jury cleared the officers involved in the shooting, inflaming passions around the city. In July, dozens of protesters disrupted a Newburgh City Council meeting. A month later, police accused a 15-year-old cousin of Michael Lembhard of helping incite a near riot on Liberty Street. A few days later, another melee broke out on Liberty Street, and Michael Lembhard's younger brother, Donald, was arrested after he allegedly threw a brick at police.

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