West Norriton man in custody after police standoff

The man was barricaded in his Clearview Avenue home for more than three hours after sheriff's deputies attempted to serve him with an eviction notice this morning.

A West Norriton man is in police custody following a three-hour armed standoff that began when sheriff's deputies attempted to serve him with eviction papers at his Clearview Avenue home this morning.

A neighbor who declined to be named said the man, identified as Ronald Dziewit, 51, is a veteran who has experienced mortgage-related problems in recent years and who had previously expressed defiance over the possible foreclosure of his home.

A county SWAT team and several area police departments converged at the scene of the standoff, which West Norriton Police Chief Robert Adams said had ended without bloodshed and "as well as could be expected."

For three hours, police and SWAT team personnel took up posts on the surrounding streets and in nearby homes, some of which were evacuated. Dziewit was often in clear view of police snipers, who could regularly be heard on police radio describing his location and activities inside the home.

Meanwhile, police negotiators continued to speak with the man on the telephone. They are believed to have enlisted the help of friends and family members to convince Dziewit to surrender.

Montgomery County property records indicate that the home is owned by the Veterans' Affairs office, which purchased it from Dziewit in 2007 for $1,534.

Earlier story and updates below.

Updated 1:02pm: West Norriton Police Chief Robert Adams has told Patch the man is in custody.

Updated 12:40pm: The man, tentatively identified as Ronald Dziewit, continues to speak with police negotiators.

Earlier story and updates below.

A county SWAT team and several area police departments are engaged in a standoff outside a home on Clearview Avenue in West Norriton, where an armed 51-year-old man has barricaded himself inside.

West Norriton Police Chief Robert Adams said the standoff began when personnel from the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department attempted to serve the man with an eviction notice this morning.

Adams said police negotiators are speaking with the man, identified by a neighbor as "Ron." According to the neighbor, who declined to be identified, "Ron" is a former member of the military who has had problems with his mortgage in recent years and previously expressed defiance at the prospect of losing his home.

Montgomery County property records indicate that the home is owned by the Veterans' Affairs office, which purchased it from a Ronald Dziewit in 2007 for $1,534.

A SWAT team has been on the scene since about 10:15am. A friend of the man is believed to be working with police negotiators to convince him to come out of the house.

Earlier updates follow.

Update 11:15am: A neighbor who declined to be named identified the barricaded man as "Ron." The neighbor said that "Ron" is a former member of the military who has been having problems with his mortgage and has previously expressed defiance at the prospect of losing the home.

County property records indicate that the house is owned by the Veterans' Affairs office. The previous owner is listed as Ronald Dziewit.

It is not immediately clear whether authorities attempted to serve an eviction notice prior to the standoff.

Update 10:46am: Authorities are in telephone contact with the man inside the house.

Update 10:31am: A police radio report has indicated that the man is armed with two shotguns and a Marlin rifle.

Update 10:25am: The man was seen waving his arm out a window holding what police radio reports identified as a telephone. Police have determined that a television is on inside the home.

The man appeared to be "trying to get someone's attention" through a window of the home, according to police radio reports. A negotiator is said to be preparing to make contact with the man.

Initial story below.

A SWAT team has been called to a residence on Clearview Avenue in West Norriton, where police are engaged in a standoff with a barricaded male subject.

Unconfirmed emergency radio reports indicate that the subject is armed, possibly with a shotgun. An additional report indicated that he telephoned a third party shortly before 10:00am to "say goodbye."

Patch is on the way to the scene. We'll update this article with more information as we obtain it.

neighbor October 04, 2011 at 09:20 PM
Can anyone foster a jack russel terrier for Ron?
Cate M October 04, 2011 at 09:35 PM
Anyone able to start a beef and beer or something to help him out? If anyone finds out where we can send money or if there is a family member able to take donations....please post!!! What a shame that a citizen who risked his life for our country is now suffering like this while the politicians sit up in their ivory towers! He chose to possibly die for his country, and look how they repaid him! We are not a superpower when we don't take care of our vets! No vet in this country should ever have to worry about unemployment and eviction. Absolutely disgusting......Makes me embarrassed to be an American. "
neighbor October 04, 2011 at 10:34 PM
Ron will need support when he gets out. He will have nowhere to go and they are going to clear out his house and put everything in storage. If he can't get it out of storage in one month - they auction off everything he owns! Nice.
Ruthiness October 05, 2011 at 12:13 AM
I have two dogs already - does the jack russell terrier get along with other dogs? I have a friend who could take him or I might be able to - email to the patch authors your contact info - I will also donate $$ for a storage facility for him so they don't auction off his stuff
Family member October 05, 2011 at 12:29 AM
The police took his dog Joey to the SPCA in CONSHOHOCKEN on Ridge pike at 6pm tonight. You know how animals take over your heart! His will be broken if he loses him! Someone who can help foster him till Ron can again please help! No way he will lose his personal belongings too,everything will be done so it doesn't happen.
Gerry DePietro October 05, 2011 at 01:39 AM
I am in total disgust as to how a Veteran can be treated this way. This is America???? Congressman Gerlach, can't you intervene on this man's behalf since he is in your Congressional District? Oops, forgot, you people in Washington are too busy pre-campaigning and saying NO NO NO to job creation and re-building this Country and helping the people who have worked so hard all of their lives and been thrown to the wolves. There are millions of people across America in this man's situation, losing everything, and no one in Washington even cares. This man FOUGHT FOR THIS COUNTRY and look what they are doing to him. Shame on you so-called "Leaders"!!
James Myers (Editor) October 05, 2011 at 02:08 AM
I placed some calls to the regional Veterans Affairs office in Philadelphia today to try and get a few answers as to how this happened. I was referred to another office and will be following up again tomorrow. The VA is listed as the property owner on county records and I'm hoping they can explain what happened with Mr. Dziewit's case. I'll do a follow up as soon as I get some information.
lenores October 05, 2011 at 02:19 AM
He was not taken to the State Hospital If anything he was taken to MCES which is the emergency service building for people in crisis. It happens to be on the State Hospital property. He would be evaluated to make sure he will be able to handle everything coming his way, and provide him with the services he is in need of.
concerned October 05, 2011 at 02:41 AM
A person who serves his country fights on the front lines, loses his job and cannot pay his mortage gets treated like this. Come on now. Ronald Needs Help. He was trying to get help from the VA and got this in return. He started his civilian life in 2003 trying to get back in the community and being a model citizen. Anyone out there to help him please please help. They willl be taking his possessions and putting them in storage like he doesnt have a heart, Its just cut apart and can be healed. Please help him, please.
Ruthiness October 05, 2011 at 04:11 AM
I contacted the Wounded Warrior Project - it sounds like Ron is a recent vet so they can probably help him out too
neighbor October 05, 2011 at 09:44 AM
I am interested to see what the VA says, I want to know why they own the house now and are they the ones throwing him out? I know many letters were written by Ron to our congress. This might get interesting.
Peter Prellwitz October 05, 2011 at 11:20 AM
We would be glad to watch over Ron's dog while he's otherwise occupied. We live across the street from him. (At 225 Liberty) We have a 10-year old female yorkie-poo and an 8-year old female dachshund (tweenie). Both are spayed. We have a very large, fenced-in back yard. We're having an addition put onto the house in a few weeks, so there will be some construction going on. If the terrier can deal with two other dogs and the construction, we'd be happy to babysit him for as long as Ron needed, and gladly return him to Ron once he's squared away.
neighbor October 05, 2011 at 11:46 AM
Joey is at the SPCA - I guess you could try and see how he gets along with your dogs. Let us know if you are checking into it.
neighbor October 05, 2011 at 11:51 AM
Something is not right here. I know for a fact that Rons house sold in 2007 to an out of state bank for much more than $1534. I know this because I watched the website that day, Rons computer wasn't working and I had to call and tell him! How did the VA end up with the house and were is the record of that sale? Something isn't right with MONTCO records. Is there anyway to find the original sheriff sale record from 2007?
neighbor October 05, 2011 at 11:53 AM
Family Member - Is this Rons brother? Are you allowed to be there when they pack up the house? I would hate to see Rons belongings disappear in that process. I know of a few things that would be easy to "miss" packing and would have some value.
another neighbor October 05, 2011 at 02:08 PM
Peter, we are in the neighborhood and we got the Jack Russell out of the police station. It's not a great situation for us, and if you're willing to take the dog,, I could stop over later and talk to you about it.
another neighbor October 05, 2011 at 02:48 PM
Ruthiness, we have the dog temporarily- we went and got him at the police station just so he wouldn't go to the SPCA, The dog has been well behaved.- however, i's really not a great situation for us at all. We're going to talk to one of the other commenters about taking him, but if it doesn't work out, I can try to contact you through patch if you're willing to help out.
James Myers (Editor) October 05, 2011 at 06:29 PM
Just wanted to update folks that I'm currently running down the chain of ownership on the property records in an attempt to find out exactly how this happened. It's a bit of a winding road, but I hope to have some answers soon. Thanks to everyone who's been following this story for your interest and help in covering this sad tale.
Bethlynne Prellwitz October 05, 2011 at 09:30 PM
@another neighbor: This is Peter's wife, Bethlynne. We'd be happy to take the Jack Russel. We'll of course need to see how he reacts with our two dogs and what they think of him. But he's more than welcome. You can look up my phone number easy enough and give us a call. Or just email my husband at PeterPrellwitz at ShardsUniverse.net and we'll set a time. (He's a published novelist, so getting his email is dead easy.) I'm home most of the day if that works well for you, too.
cyra briggs October 06, 2011 at 01:37 AM
It is a darn shame how veterans are treated in this country. You put your life on the line and when you are no longer needed you get the boot (in your ?) Why don't they take the money they give to the back stabbing countries and take care of their veterans. Does he have to move to Pakistan to get US money and help?
Ruthiness October 06, 2011 at 05:06 PM
concerned - there are local vets organizations trying to help Ron now - they were unaware of his plight until this situation. He is not being neglected - he did not know where to get help and now help is coming to him
Ruthiness October 06, 2011 at 05:09 PM
Gerry - it appears Ron did not know where to get the right help - a local veterans office is trying to help him now and had no knowledge of his plight until now. Be assured that Ron is getting lots of help now from this local veteran's office.
Ruthiness October 06, 2011 at 05:11 PM
Cate - Ron is getting lots of help now from neighbors, family, local people and a local veteran's affairs office. Stay tuned - Norristown Patch will provide updates I am sure...
another neighbor October 06, 2011 at 05:50 PM
Thanks Bethlynne. We stopped down last evening but Peter was not home. We'll stop over again.
neighbor October 06, 2011 at 10:22 PM
We saw Ron today and he wanted me to tell everyone in the neighborhood that he was sorry to have that big scene. He is doing ok and I told him of all the support that has been offered to him. I think he was very surprised to hear so many people are in his corner. We still don't know how long he is there for or what the police plan to do, but I told him that he isn't alone. He thanks everyone for showing their support and we can keep you updated.
neighbor October 07, 2011 at 02:06 AM
Just need to say how they changed this end of the block. Where once was a warm light from the living roon is now dark and cold. The sheriff sat in the car today as the boxes were being packed and moved. I have never seen this many cars drive down the street in all the years I have been here. Hope you very happy VA because this neighborhood isn't. But you sure got a "steal" for $1534.
Taylor October 07, 2011 at 03:52 PM
Packing boxes again today. It might be one of the saddest things I've seen. What really got me though was a sign in the pile of his stuff that said "welcome home Ron" with American flags all over it.
Ruthiness October 07, 2011 at 08:33 PM
Guess what - I have found out that Ron was likely victimized by a SCAM loan servicing company out of Florida named OCWEN - many many people have had their homes stolen by these scumbags - the more I dig the more outraged I get. I will be working to find out if there is a way to get Ron's house back from these evil people - including the US VA who are, it seems, in cahoots with this loan servicing company.
concerned November 13, 2011 at 05:19 PM
whatever happen to Ron?? Is he getting his home back or his money that this OCWEN took
Ruthiness November 13, 2011 at 05:55 PM
Well Ron is back together with his two doggies in a new rented townhouse not too far from his Clearview house and he is getting settled. Unfortunately, the injustices perpetrated would be very costly to reverse - even though there were many who should be prosecuted for the mortgage fraud - number one on that list the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. And OCWEN was just an interim player - the ultimate bad guy is the VA - they were the ones who secured the loan and hired all these foreclosure mills (loan servicers) who were not so honest. The VA ended up firing OCWEN and now they have BofA to service their loans and kick people out of their homes. The VA let Ron down and they sent many henchmen to do their dirty work.


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