Man charged in Columbia laundromat standoff

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Pictured, officers speak with Matthew Lane inside Big Al’s Dirty Laundry in Columbia early Tuesday night. (James “Tal” Moss photo)

The man who barricaded himself in a Columbia laundromat bathroom on Tuesday was charged with multiple felonies in connection with the incident.

Matthew J. Lane, 30, of Columbia, faces two counts of threatening a public official and two counts of aggravated assault of a police officer. He remains in custody at the Monroe County Jail in Waterloo on $250,000 bond with a preliminary hearing set for Dec. 5.

What began as a welfare check Tuesday afternoon ended peacefully Tuesday night after an approximately 4.5-hour standoff with police.

Two Columbia Police Department officers responded about 3:30 p.m. for the welfare check. Lane was the subject of the check after he exited his girlfriend’s car at the laundromat shortly after 3 a.m. Tuesday, according to emergency dispatch communication.

The woman called Columbia police because she had not seen or heard from Lane since that early morning drop-off.

Columbia Police Chief Jerry Paul said Lane appeared agitated when approached by the officers and barricaded himself in the bathroom of Big Al’s Dirty Laundry, 125 W. Locust Street in Columbia. Paul said Lane threatened multiple times to shoot officers.

Matthew J. Lane

Officers on scene reported that Lane flashed something that may have been a gun in their direction before barricading himself in the bathroom. Paul could not confirm Lane had a gun.

“It was a rapidly evolving situation,” Paul said.

The Columbia Police Department called the Illinois State Police Tactical Response Team to assist with the situation. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, Waterloo Police Department, Dupo Police Department, Columbia Fire Department, Waterloo Fire Department and Columbia EMS also responded to the scene, along with the St. Clair County EMA Mobile Command Unit.

“A special thanks to the Illinois State Police, Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, Waterloo and Dupo police departments, Columbia and Waterloo fire departments and Columbia EMS,” Paul said.

Law enforcement evacuated residents from nearby businesses and set up a safety perimeter, blocking off Main Street about 4:30 p.m. No one else was in the laundromat with Lane at the time of the incident.

Lane surrendered to authorities “without incident” about 4.5 hours after the initial welfare check, Paul said, and was transported to the Monroe County Jail.

Court information alleges that Lane “knowingly conveyed directly to (Columbia police officers) Zachary Hopkins and Adam Jackson a verbal threat to take their lives while removing an object from his waist band and holding the object in a manner to indicate possession of a weapon.”

His prior criminal history includes a 10-year prison sentence in Madison County in January 2013 for attempted first-degree murder after driving a stolen car at a Wood River police officer, according to news accounts. Lane, who was also ordered to undergo drug treatment, only served half of that sentence.

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