By WLOX Staff
FAIRHOPE, AL (WLOX) - Early morning drama unfolded in Fairhope, Alabama Tuesday. About 1:21am, the Fairhope Police Department received a phone call that the Ravenite Restaurant was possibly on fire.
Fairhope police officers responded along with the Fairhope Volunteer Fire Department. They contacted the owner, Richard Gambino. Gambino was inside, and officers discovered there was no fire and no emergency existed, so the emergency responders left the restaurant.
About an hour later, the police received another call, this time, a disturbance call at Ravenite Restaurant.
When officers arrived, they found Gambino burning personal items in a sink. The officers determined that his actions lacked probable cause for an immediate arrest.
Then, at 4:07am, the police department was notified that Gambino had made statements that he was going to harm himself.
Gambino locked himself inside the restaurant and told the responding officers that he had a weapon and threatened to use it. He also threatened to destroy the entire restaurant by means of an explosion using gas utilities.
At that point, officers began treating the incident as a barricaded suspect. There was no one else inside the restaurant, and the gas supply to the restaurant was cut-off.
Officers from the Daphne Police Department, Foley Police Department, Baldwin County Sheriff's Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation responded to the scene to assist.
At 10:08am, members of the Fairhope Police Department's Emergency Response Team entered the restaurant through the rear door. At the same time, other Fairhope officers, along with an armored vehicle from the FBI, approached the front.
Gambino was taken into custody without further incident. He was charged with reckless endangerment and booked into the Fairhope Municipal Jail. Later, he was transported to the Baldwin County Jail and immediately transferred to Searcy Hospital.