FAIRFIELD — The family of the man who barricaded himself inside a central Fairfield home says they can’t return to their residence and that their insurance company won’t pay for the cleanup.
Alice Harrison said after nearly three years of paying premiums to American Bankers that the insurer told her it would cover a fire or burglary but not damages resulting from police responding Feb. 4 to a standoff on Cormorant Court.
“They wouldn’t even cover one loaf of bread,” she said.
An American Bankers representative could not be reached for comment about its insurance coverage.
Harrison said the family is staying at a motel and can’t go inside their home without wearing gas masks. Police fired gas canisters into the residence Feb. 4 in a bid to get her son, Gordon Keith Johnson, 27, out of the house.
Six windows were broken and Harrison described the damage to the home as quite extensive. She said the city ran fans for a day inside the home to clear out the tear gas.
Harrison said she’s thankful no one was injured during the incident.
“We’re just grateful for the Fairfield Police Department,” she said. “They took good care of us. They took good care of George.”
“They kept us updated. They kept us safe,” she said.
Neighbors helped the family after the standoff, Harrison said.
She said her son remains incarcerated after the seven-hour standoff ended with him being taken into custody. A Feb. 18 preliminary hearing is scheduled in his case, which Harrison said includes a charge of his possessing a weapon.
Her son has to have professional care, she said. Johnson was staying in Oakland when he was beat up and robbed in a park, Harrison said. That changed him, his mother said.
The family was unaware he had a revolver until the Feb. 4 incident, she said.
The family has set up a relief fund at Travis Credit Union with the father’s name for people who want to assist with the cost of the home’s cleanup. People who wish to contribute to the Joseph S. Harrison Jr. fund can go to a Travis Credit Union branch.
“We’re hoping for anything,” Alice Harrison said. “We’re really just at loose ends.”
Harrison said that separate from the standoff, her 19-year-old daughter and 25-year-old son are recovering from surgeries.
“We’re OK,” she said. “We’re just tired. We’re exhausted.”
The standoff began when callers reported a family member was damaging property and threatening residents with a firearm, police said. Officers were able to get the residents out of the house.
Police negotiators and SWAT team members tried to make contact with the suspect. He remained unresponsive for several hours.
Officers blocked off Cormorant Drive from Cormorant Place to East Tabor Avenue and police had a sniper stationed on a rooftop behind the house where the suspect lived.
Soon after officers rushed in the direction of the house, police confirmed the suspect was in custody.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.