PROVIDENCE — A man charged in a road-rage shooting on Federal Hill a month and a half ago was arrested Thursday after barricading himself inside his barbershop nearby.
Timothy Desjardins, 35, walked out of the We The People barbershop about an hour and a half into an incident that blocked Atwells Avenue, a major commercial thoroughfare. Timothy Desjardins is listed as the person who started the business in August.
“Patience, some good methodical work by the Providence police in keeping everyone safe in the nearby area, and then through the negotiations, through the conversations, he walks himself out safely,” Col. Hugh T. Clements Jr., chief of the Providence police, told reporters afterward.
The incident started shortly before 2:30 p.m. when two officers, Ryan Malloy and Scott Campbell, spotted a man and noticed something “unusual” about him. Officers are trained to be able to detect when someone has a gun, Clements said. When they confronted the man, he went inside the building at 374 Atwells Ave. with a gun and barricaded himself inside, Clements said.
They called for backup and, eventually, a hostage negotiation team. It didn’t take long, by armed standoff standards, for officers Giuseppe Scarcello and Erick Fernandez to get him to leave the building without further incident, Clements said. He credited the work of the police with the peaceful end to a tense situation.
Desjardins will be arraigned Friday on various charges, Clements said.
Desjardins was also charged in a road-rage shooting in the Walgreens parking lot across the street in September. He’s out on $100,000 bail on charges that include felony assault and weapons charges. The victim was grazed in the head with a bullet, according to a Channel 10 report at the time.
Clements said other people had to be evacuated from the building, which houses more than just the barbershop, and other surrounding businesses. But nobody else was in the barbershop with him at the time, Commander Thomas Verdi said.
Atwells Avenue, part of the Federal Hill neighborhood, is known for its culture and restaurants, including Italian fare — the colors of the Italian flag are painted down the middle. Normally bustling, it fell into a tense quiet as police cruisers converged in the area, blocking off the road from Tony’s Colonial Food roughly to the Tammany Hall pub.
Jacob Kamborian, owner of Napolitano’s Brooklyn Pizza, was working Thursday afternoon when he saw a police car go by on Atwells Avenue. Then another. Then another.
“They just kept coming,” he said.
Soon he saw even more: SWAT police arrived in tactical gear, heavily armed and armored. He went outside with some customers — they were visiting the area from Albany, New York for a college visit — to see what was going on. Police officers were taking cover behind a cruiser. Eventually, the police pushed them back, then back even farther.
Kamborian reassured the upstate New Yorkers that the area does have its occasional shooting or stabbing, but nothing like this. This was unusual.
Rick Simone, executive director of the Federal Hill Commerce Association, said he was told to stay inside his building because he was not far away from where the suspect has barricaded himself.
Some onlookers stood atop the roof of Tony’s Colonial Food to watch the situation unfold. People still ate inside nearby restaurants that weren’t blocked off, or stood by police tape if their cars were blocked off inside the no-go zone.
When it was over, by 4:30 p.m. on a mild autumn day, an area that was once bound by police tape was coming back to life, even as police continued to huddle in the area and two officers stood guard outside the barbershop.
“It was a safe ending for all,” Clements said. “Great work by the Providence police.”
“We are very fortunate that he didn’t shoot the officers and that the officers didn’t shoot him,” said Commander Thomas Verdi.
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