A potentially bad situation with a knife-wielding suspect barricaded inside a Peachtree City home Monday ended peacefully with his surrender to the police department’s Armed Response Unit.
A 911 call was received in the wee hours of Jan. 30 during which time operators could hear fighting in the background on the open line, according to reports. Officers responded with a welfare check/domestic call to a house in the Wynnmeade subdivision on the city’s west side and were met by a female subject and her child, who came out of the house and reported being involved in a physical altercation with a man who was an acquaintance.
The woman told police a verbal altercation had escalated to the point that the suspect pulled a large kitchen knife, and when she and the child fled to another room for safety he hacked at the door to the room and virtually destroyed it, the report indicated. She tried to call 911 and he took the phone from her during the call, she said, and all of this happened in the presence of the child.
Upon hearing this report, the officer on the scene brought the victims out while leaving the front door open and established a perimeter while contacting the Armed Response Unit, since the suspect was known to have a weapon. Their attempts to make contact with him were unsuccessful.
“He chose to make zero contact with the officers,” said one of the commanding officers. “He was basically just trying to bury himself in the house and hide.”
After the special response team arrived the suspect continued to ignore officers for a couple of hours while the appropriate warrants were secured. Finally they tossed a noise flash diversionary device, commonly known as a flash bang grenade, through the open front door and it did the trick. The suspect exited the bedroom where he had been hiding and surrendered in the front yard peacefully, with no force required. Officers did not even have to enter the house to secure him, although they searched the residence afterward and cleared it.
“We used a less lethal option to get his attention,” one of the commanding officers said of the flash bang.
The incident concluded with Cody Severa being transported to Fayette County Jail and facing charges of aggravated assault, interference in a 911 call and cruelty to children. He was also found to have outstanding warrants in Coweta County and Carroll County for aggravated assault and resisting arrest.
“He didn’t want to go to jail, so our Special Response Team came out to help him make up his mind,” according to a lighthearted post on the department’s Facebook page that added the phrase, “Also, cats hate flash bangs.”
This was a reference to a large fluffy cat sitting on the kitchen table as the flash bang was thrown into the house, after which the animal reached top speed within a millisecond and was not seen again, an officer said.
“No cats were injured in the execution of the search warrant,” according to the department’s Facebook post.