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November 30, 2007

Hostages in Rochester
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 03:02 PM *

It’s going down right now in Rochester, New Hampshire. A gent walked into the Hillary ‘08 campaign office, said he had a bomb, and took hostages.

Cops are in position across the street. So far, no violence reported.

More when I know more.

Update 1:

Live video from the scene

Update 2:

Story at WMUR (Manchester):

ROCHESTER, N.H. — An armed man has taken two campaign workers hostage at the Hillary Clinton campaign office in Rochester, police said.

Officials with the campaign confirmed that there were two workers taken hostage in the office on 28 North Main St., and NBC News reported that the man demanded to speak to Clinton.

Clinton, who is not in New Hampshire, canceled a National Democratic Committee meeting in Virginia.

A woman and her baby told workers at a neighboring business that she was released by the hostage-taker.

“A young woman with a 6-month or 8-month-old infant came rushing into the store just in tears, and she said, ‘You need to call 911. A man has just walked into the Clinton office, opened his coat and showed us a bomb strapped to his chest with duct tape,’” witness Lettie Tzizik said.

Witnesses described the man as in his 40s with salt-and-pepper hair. There are several police officers in the area with guns drawn.

Update 3:

1509: Two hostages have just been released. Reportedly there were only two hostages. SWAT team is still on scene.

Update 4:

Person is “locally known” to be mentally unstable, and told his son, today, to “watch the news.”

Update 5:

17:23 Perhaps three more hostages are inside the building. Hostage taker presumably has access to TV, radio, and internet.

Update 6:

1815: Hostage taker is getting arrested right now.

Comments on Hostages in Rochester:
#1 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 03:22 PM:

hmm, when will the liberals disavow their crazy extremist elements and get back to the middle of the road.

#2 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 03:23 PM:

The story being reported at WCVB Boston.

The story at CNN.

#3 ::: Nina Katarina ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 03:32 PM:

ABC reporting that the guy is local, told his son this morning "watch the news". Mid-40s, graying hair.

#4 ::: Kevin Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 03:56 PM:

Speculation centers around Larry, his brother Darryl or his other brother John Sununu.

#5 ::: Kevin Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 04:13 PM:

Fox says it’s a guy named Troy Stanley. My Google search pulls up a phone number (I won’t publish it) and this incident which was a disorderly conduct arrest on November 6: “6:14 p.m. — Troy Alan Stanley, 44, of Rochester Hill Road, is arrested on a bench warrant for disorderly conduct.”

#6 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 04:22 PM:

it's over

#7 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 04:28 PM:

Maybe he just saw one political ad too many.

#8 ::: mazianni ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 04:29 PM:

Live video feed at

As of 16:28 EST, WMUR is still showing images of police cars blocking off downtown and reporting that there may be more hostages still inside.

#9 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 04:31 PM:

#6: It's not over. He's still in there.

#10 ::: Seth Breidbart ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 04:32 PM:

Oh, no. Now they're going to ban duct tape as a terrorist weapon.

#11 ::: mazianni ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 04:41 PM:

Upcoming press conference in Rochester, should be starting any time.

A witness claims to have spoken to the suspect's step-son. The step-son said the man has been drinking for 72 hours and asked where he could get some road flares.

#12 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 04:45 PM:

Police are saying "This is an ongoing situation, the situation is still fluid."

No confirming or denying flares, additional hostages, or name(s) of suspect(s).

#13 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 04:49 PM:

Fox, however, despite being asked by the police not to, showed the position of the SWAT team

#14 ::: Dave Weingart ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 04:50 PM:

How long before the wingnut spin machine starts blaming Hillary for this?

I expect about as long as it takes for Sean Hannity to get on the air this evening.

#15 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 04:53 PM:

from Malkin's comments (although I understand she's started deleting)

Is this HRC's vast right wing conspiracy in the flesh? Hope the hostages get out safely but for the life of me, I do not trust either one of the Clinton's not to have found this poor man and staged this. Call me a cynic when it comes to these two.

#16 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 04:56 PM:

This is not the time to be picky, I suppose, but I did like the construct whereby "a woman and her baby told the police..."

Officer: Can you tell us what happened, kid?

Baby: Goo. Gah-ah. Meegah. Boom! Wah!!!!

Officer: Thanks. We'll have that typed up and you can sign it.

Baby: **drool.**

#17 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 04:56 PM:

#14: Reportedly, Limbaugh has already done so.

#18 ::: Nathan ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 05:15 PM:

Seth @10

Oh, no. Now they're going to ban duct tape as a terrorist weapon.

That's just silly. Everyone knows that duct tape is our most important weapon in the War on Terror. Didn't you get the memo?

#19 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 05:21 PM:

Madeleine Robins @16 -

LOL - sounds like a Fox News source.

#20 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 05:38 PM:

The live! breaking!! action news!!! broadcasts are now just showing the same clips over and over and interviewing every passer-by in Rochester they can find, while the police are (one suspects) trying to talk the guy out. Looks like this is going to take a while to resolve.

From the reporting, it sounds like the guy is a schizophrenic.

#21 ::: Constance Ash ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 05:41 PM:

Without duct tape concert stage hands are helpless.

Love, C.

#22 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 05:41 PM:

Kevin, #5: Fox says it’s a guy named Troy Stanley.

Foster's Daily Democrat disagrees.

#23 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 05:43 PM:

Here's the story at Foster's.

Foster's is the paper that sank Morey Taylor, for those with long memories.

#24 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 05:55 PM:

Foster's has more on the current suspect. Also records of DWI and stalking arrests. Grudge against the cops?

#25 ::: Nathan ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 05:55 PM:

Here's a great line from the Foster's story:

A Reverse 911 message was sent out to homes on North Main Street informing people if they are not home, to not come home.

I guess they'll get the message when they get home.

#26 ::: Dan ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 05:57 PM:

Wow. With their conspiracy theories, the Freepers are going all wigged-out gonky over this. It's like someone tapped on the glass of a great big fishtank full of crazy.

#27 ::: shadowsong ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 06:05 PM:

Constance Ash @ 21: REAL stagehands use gaff tape and bitch about the gunk left all over the stage and cables from that poser with the duct tape.
(Although to be fair all I know is theater work, not concert work.)

#28 ::: dolloch ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 06:06 PM:

My guess at the first Repub snark: "See how weak the Dems are on terror? They can't even protect their own headquarters!"

#29 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 06:16 PM:

It's over. He's being arrested right this minute.

#30 ::: Dan ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 06:21 PM:

Thankfully, this ended peacefully and, even more important, no one was hurt.

#31 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 06:22 PM:

Julie @ 13 I am so not surprised to Fox compromising SWAT team efforts. Fox has on so many occaisions made public information which has been critical to operations and logistics. Who needs intellegence analysts when you can just turn on the TV?

I wonder how many copy cat efforts we'll see after this?

#32 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 06:27 PM:

Fux News again?

#33 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 06:29 PM:

Gaffer tape, as used by stage hands & electrical technicians in many jobs (see Wikipedia, dictionary) is a major support of whole industries.

This story got a brief mention in the hourly ABC Radio news bulletins (both local Sydney & National) this morning. I hope it works out with everyone still whole.

#34 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 06:32 PM:

Nathan @ #25: I don't disagree with the observation behind your comment, but I must admit that I check the messages on my home phone before I leave work.

That being said, I do think you make a good point.

#35 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 07:19 PM:

Well, this is what the radical-right wingers in the media have been aiming at; provoking acts of right-wing terrorism. For that is what this is; an act of terrorism. They've done it; let's see how many of them move to reinforce the behavior, now.

#36 ::: Nathan ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 07:48 PM:

Tania @34

You're right, of course, but the line just tickled me.

#37 ::: Zed ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 08:05 PM:

Randolph Fitz @35: provoking acts of right-wing terrorism

This guy is mentally ill, and it's not at all clear he's in any way right-wing, or inspired by the right-wing. CNN:

The hostage and Eisenberg called CNN multiple times throughout the afternoon and talked to CNN staffers. Eisenberg said he had mental problems and couldn't get anyone to help him. CNN assumed Eisenberg could be watching CNN's broadcast and chose not to report his calls to avoid compromising the safety of the hostages.
He might have wanted Sen. Clinton's assurance that her health care plan would cover mental health.

When I first saw the headline, I assumed it was just as you suggest -- someone inspired to terrorism by right-wing extremists' rhetoric. But I'm not assuming that anymore, given what (scant) info has come to light so far.

#38 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 08:16 PM:

Randalph@#35: This wasn't so much a case of right-wing terrorism as a case of an apparently known local person-of-less-than-complete-mental-stability going completely off the rails. If he hadn't picked the Clinton campaign office to do it in, the national media would never have even noticed, let alone cared.

#39 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 08:17 PM:

Ack. That should have been "Randolph" -- sorry about the typo.

#40 ::: Non-entity ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 08:23 PM:

Nathan @18

"Oh, no. Now they're going to ban duct tape as a terrorist weapon.

That's just silly. Everyone knows that duct tape is our most important weapon in the War on Terror. Didn't you get the memo?"

Our most valuable weapon against terror, turned against us by those same enemies? Diabolical! This clearly shows why we *must* win!

#41 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 09:34 PM:

Zed, #37: Mental illness and being inspired by right-wing hate-talk are not by any means mutually exclusive. In fact, it could be argued that this guy's mental state made him a more vulnerable target. Of course, we don't know what media he usually watches or listens to, and there's probably no way to find out.

#42 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2007, 09:54 PM:

Debra, #38: well, after all, he didn't attack the Edwards office, or the Obama office. He went to the Clinton campaign office, probably because so much hate's been directed at her and he responded. I think when the dust settles, we'll find that he was influenced by winger propaganda. The real question, though, is going to be how the right wing press responds to this act; if it's approving, there will probably be more.

#43 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 05:35 AM:

Or, he went to the Clinton office because that's where he thought he could get help.

#44 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 07:05 AM:

After all the idiocy in Boston this year, it is such a relief to see that the Rochester police handled this professionally and well - no one got hurt and no one panicked (other than the Fox reporters).

#45 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 08:58 AM:

Randolph and Lee:

It seems like you guys are reaching here, in the same way as the folks who took the Va Tech wacko's much more destructive spell of deadly madness as a justification for whatever they wanted to believe before. Sometimes, a nut just does nutty things because he's a nut, and there's limited value in trying to find a deep political or social explanation to it.

#46 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 09:17 AM:

Or she was the only politician above local level with an office he could reach.

(Reminds me of the Isla Vista riots, where the Bank of America was burned down: I've seen one story about it that's pointed out that it was the only bank in Isla Vista.)

#47 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 11:33 AM:

As I said, there's a lot of possibilities. It's very likely that all the anti-Clinton propaganda had an effect on Eisenberg, but we will have to wait and see, and we may never know. But if the right-wing pundits use this to validate violence against Democratic candidates (all the while saying it is just a joke), then I think we will have more violence, and some of the people doing it will not be relatively harmless nuts.

#48 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 11:44 AM:

Though it's off-topic, I can't resist posting here about a bit of local excitement yesterday afternoon. First indication: flashing police vehicle lights from the last of our condo buildings up the hill, just visible behind a short, wide apple tree that still has most of its leaves. Next: some cops in marked navy blue jackets. Even that was unusual for our quiet neighborhood, but then things escalated -- with a BOOOM! that rattled our windows, woke the cat in the back room, and brought me up to stare out, wondering what would come next. That turned out to be a SWAT team in full riot gear, some of them carrying a black box about the size of a tall safe. (My husband thought it might have been for the safe detonation of some suspicious thingy.) During all of this, there was no shouting, running or sense of emergency. When a fire truck/ambulance combo pulled up later, the sirens weren't on, and they left soon afterward, again without sirens.

Nothing about it in last night's news from Phoenix (unless it came after my bedtime), and so far no mention in the online version of the local paper. I'm guessing either a drug lab bust or something involving illegal aliens, and some media outlet may eventually explain it all. But seeing it that close -- even with obscuring tree -- was a lot more visceral than just hearing about that kind of thing in the news or reading about it online!

#49 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 12:33 PM:

Front page of the NY Times this morning. 15 minutes of fame....

#50 ::: jm ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 12:49 PM:

Eh. It doesn't seem like a matter of left or right wing. The headlines ought to read: "Local Nutjob Finally Snaps, Manages to Get Fool Self on National News."

#51 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 12:51 PM:

I find myself sharing Randolph's concerns. Regardless of what this guy's motivations were, if the right wing narrative spewers start up "joking" about "If only he had..." or how his heart was in the right place or whatever bullshit they come up with, we will see more of this. Likewise if they keep talking about Clinton staging it (which, by the way, was the first reaction one of my coworkers had--he read the story online, said "Wow, she totally staged that!" and then, when the rest of us said, "Huh?" he read the story).

My first reaction was to think, "So it begins. Things are going to get very bad very soon." I hope I'm wrong.

#52 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2007, 10:31 PM:

The Obama and Edwards campaign offices are within a block of the Clinton office. It's hard to find a New Hampshire city at this point that doesn't have a local office for every major, and many minor, candidate.

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