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Crime and Safety

Provo man arrested on multiple felony charges after armed standoff with police



PROVO, Utah — A man has been arrested on five felony charges after what police are calling a domestic violence situation involving a firearm.

“The incident involved Vardan Verdyan, who is a resident of Provo, his wife, and their 5-year-old child,” a statement from the Provo Police Department says. “There was a protective order in place between Verdyan and his wife and child. However, Verdyan had reportedly locked them in the home.

“His mother-in-law had arrived at the home and was assaulted by Verdyan. The officers that responded were informed that Verdyan had a firearm and threatened to use it.”

“While officers attempted to contact Verdyan, his wife and child managed to escape from the home,” the PPD statement says. “She reported that Verdyan had forced her and the child into the basement and threatened their lives. Verdyan then barricaded himself inside the home.”

Officers negotiated with Verdyan to exit the residence peacefully and he eventually surrendered himself to law enforcement, the statement says.

Verdyan, 29, has been charged on suspicion of:

  • Two counts of aggravated kidnapping, domestic violence, a first-degree felony
  • Three counts of possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, a second-degree felony
  • Violation of a protective order, a class A misdemeanor
  • Two counts of domestic violence in the presence of a child, a class B misdemeanor

After Verdyan was in custody, a search warrant was served at the home and numerous firearms were located.

“Provo residents in the area were asked to shelter in place until the incident could be resolved,” the police statement says. “We are grateful for their cooperation and support.”

A probable cause statement filed after Verdyan’s arrest shares additional details.

The incident happened in the area of 2800 West and 100 North. Verdyan threatened those inside the residence with a gun, the statement says.

Officers communicated with Verdyan using a public address speaker, and Verdyan’s wife and child were able to escape the house before the suspect’s eventual surrender.

Verdyan’s wife said he had been acting strangely recently, and seemed more paranoid, accusing her of informing police about his activities, the statement says.

The officer who filed the probable cause statement says Verdyan communicated to him by text, saying “he was a scientist and had science in the home that he did not want falling into the wrong hands. Verdyan would not clarify what ‘science’ meant.”