Suspicious package leads police to search for man

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – An Orchard Park man is undergoing evaluation after a troubling incident Wednesday night.

Big Tree Road Resident Richard Dio said, “Normally we hear a siren or two, being this close to Southwestern, but siren after siren, and then a helicopter, it’s like, there’s something major going on.”

Officers checked a suspicious package on the steps of the Orchard Park Municipal Center around 9 p.m. that was left by a man driving a black Dodge Charger. After determining the box was not a threat, and only had baseball caps inside, police continued their investigation and found the vehicle was registered to a Big Tree Road resident.

When officers arrived at the home, the man’s wife advised them her husband had gone into the woods on foot with a shotgun. The woman told police her husband was upset, and may be suffering from mental health issues.

The woman and her daughter, along with nearby residences, were evacuated from the area. Police didn’t want to call it a standoff, but News 4 has confirmed they called a New York State Police helicopter for assistance and the SWAT team for backup. No one was injured.

The 43-year-old unidentified man returned home while law enforcement was conducting a search.

Orchard Park Police Chief Mark Pacholec said, “A search was conducted. He did return home around 11:30, he was taken into custody in front of the residence.”

“In this case, the information we originally had was he was upset, his wife said he possibly had mental issues, he took a shotgun out of the residence. At this point we have to start thinking containment and evacuating the houses,” said Pacholec.

Police say the man doesn’t have a history of mental issues nor have there been multiple calls to the home. Police have not charged the man and have not released his address.

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