Armed robbery suspect has outburst in St. John's court
Suspect linked to convenience store robbery, standoff with police at nearby house
A young man involved in a police standoff in St. John's on Saturday caused a disruption at provincial court in St. John's on Monday afternoon.
Justin Joseph Wiseman, 21, began screaming that the police were trying to kill him, then he tried to climb out of the prisoner's dock.
Two sheriff's officers tried to restrain him, but they needed backup support. Four other sheriffs arrived, and together they wrestled Wiseman to the floor.
There happened to be extra sheriffs at court on Monday because of the demands on the court schedule.
After Wiseman calmed down, he was brought to a cell.
Suspect cleared by psychiatric assessment
Earlier on Monday, Wiseman was sent by the court for a brief psychiatric assessment. As he left the court, he could be heard saying, "The cops were trying to kill me. They were trying to kill me."
Wiseman was found fit to reappear in court on Monday afternoon.
Wiseman faced numerous charges, including an armed robbery charge dating back to the fall of 2012, and reckless use of a firearm, a sawed-off shotgun.
The charges against Wiseman came after two related incidents on Saturday - first, a robbery at knifepoint of a convenience store in downtown St. John's, and then an armed standoff with police.
Store manager Barbara Keating and a co-worker at City Superette on Springdale Street were robbed at knifepoint Saturday afternoon, when a young man wearing pajama pants and with a scarf over his mouth robbed about $270 and some cigarettes.
'Oh, crap,' says store manager
"It wasn't so much scared. It's more like, 'Oh crap' — you know, that type of reaction," she said. "It's more like thinking in my mind, 'Oh crap, I'm going to be here until 6 o'clock tonight now.'"
The suspect fled from the scene, although Keating said from what she later learned from police, he is the same person who was involved in an armed standoff with police just around the corner.
A neighbour contacted the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, and several police units soon arrived on the scene.
"We seen the guy in the window with the gun and he was screaming and all that, and we saw the police and they tried a few times to talk to him and tell him to come down," witness Marcella Cortes told CBC News.
The standoff, however, dragged on for hours, and ended peacefully.