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West Norriton Man's Fate Still Unclear After Standoff With Police

Charges have yet to be filed against 51-year-old Ronald Dziewit, an ex-Marine who had a three-hour armed standoff with authorities after he refused to leave his home when sheriff's deputies came to evict him.

Ronald Dziewit, the 51-year-old veteran who was taken into custody after a , remains under psychiatric evaluation as authorities consider possible charges against the man.

have not filed any charges and plan to confer with the Montgomery County District Attorney's office before any decisions are made. Dziewit could face a number of charges ranging from disorderly conduct to more serious weapons-related offenses.

Dziewit was involuntarily committed on Tuesday to Montgomery County Emergency Services (MCES) for evaluation and treatment. While specific details of Dziewit's case were not available, an official from MCES confirmed that individuals who are involuntarily committed (also known as a "302" commitment) are generally held for observation and treatment for 120 hours and then subject to a hearing to determine if further treatment is required.

Dziewit was taken into custody and committed after a tense three hour standoff at his home on Clearview Ave. in West Norriton. A SWAT team was called to the scene shortly before 10am on Tuesday after sheriff's deputies attempted to serve Dziewit with eviction papers and he refused to leave. Dziewit armed himself with a shotgun and barricaded himself in his home. Authorities believed Dziewit might attempt to take his own life.

The SWAT team and several area police departments converged at the scene of the standoff and 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.

West Norriton Police Chief Robert Adams confirmed Tuesday afternoon that the incident ended without bloodshed and "as well as could be expected." No shots were fired and no one was injured in the incident.

A neighbor who declined to be named said Dziewit is a former Marine who has experienced mortgage-related problems in recent years and who had previously expressed defiance over the possible foreclosure of his home.

According to records obtained from the Montgomery County Recorder of Deeds, Dziewit's home was purchased at sheriff's sale in 2007 for cost ($1534.75) by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs from the original mortgage holder, Wells Fargo Bank. Norristown Patch has been unable to confirm any details of the agreement with officials from the regional Veterans Affairs office and have received no additional information as to the nature of Dziewit's eviction.

Sources familiar with the Veterans Affairs' home mortgage services have suggested that the VA would have made numerous attempts to contact Dziewit and effect a compromise before resorting to eviction.

The Montgomery County Sheriff's Department has also confirmed that Dziewit had received prior notice of eviction proceedings against him. Notice of eviction is generally served at least 30 days prior to any actual action taken by deputies to remove an individual from a property.

Montgomery County Department of Veterans Affairs Service Officer Robert Troemel confirmed his department is now aware of Dziewit's predicament and are investigating the matter to see how they can help him.

"We're looking into it," said Troemel. "We're waiting to see what the charges are. If the charges are nonviolent, we can recommend him for Montco Veterans Court."

Several neighbors and suporters have stepped up to offer help for Dziewit. Some have asked to donate money to get Dziewit back into his home and at least one neighboring family is looking after Dziewit's dog. Others have expressed a concern over making sure his personal belongings aren't lost in the eviction process.

Norristown Patch will continue to follow this story and update the public as new information becomes available.

neighbor October 06, 2011 at 10:24 PM
I think Ron has been through enough and has enough to deal with.

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