Defiant Fallon man taken into custody after standoff |

Defiant Fallon man taken into custody after standoff

Steve Ranson
Mark Hanawalt

Fallon Police have taken a local man in custody after he became defiant and brandished weapons to officers performing a welfare check.

The standoff lasted three hours.

Police Chief Kevin Gehman said the man, Mark C. Hanawalt, 62, lives in an extended stay apartment at the back of Motel 6 on South Taylor Street. At 12:42 p.m. officers knocked on his door to perform the welfare check because Hanawalt complained of hearing voices and warning people to leave. When police arrived, Gehman said they found no one causing a disturbance. Hanawalt became noncompliant, threw a handgun out the window and penetrated a KBAR survival knife through the door. Gehman also said Hanawalt broke out a window and tossed numerous items before breaking a hole in the door and sticking out a rifle barrel.

“That’s when we backed off and set up containment,” Gehman said, adding a house near Hanawalt’s apartment was evacuated.

FPD had assistance from Churchill County Sheriff’s Office and the Lyon County Sheriff’s SWAT team. Firefighters from Fallon Churchill Fire Department and paramedics from Banner Churchill Community Hospital were also on standby. South Taylor Street was temporary closed during the ordeal.

Gehman said communication was established with Hanawalt via telephone, but he terminated the phone call.

Hanawalt eventually surrendered, and Gehman said officers took the Fallon man into custody for a mental health hold. He is currently being evaluated. Paramedics had examined Hanawalt on the scene and transported him to the hospital.

According to a subsequent press release, Hanawalt had been living in Fallon for three months after moving here from Lyon County.

Once officers had a chance to examine the weapons, Gehman said they appeared to be pellet guns.

The release stated “Hanawalt has a prior history of mental illness and he has a prior arrest record for which include offenses of battery, resisting arrest and injury to property.

“Criminal charges may be filed in the future for injury to property, assault with deadly weapon and resisting arrest. The dollar value for the damage sustained by the motel has not been established.”