Cortland standoff ends with suspect in critical condition

A crowd gathered outside the Hampton Inn late Friday evening (Peter Blanchard/Cortland Voice)

CORTLAND, N.Y. — A standoff between law enforcement and a man who locked himself inside a hotel room ended Saturday morning after nearly 24 hours of negotiations.

At around 3 a.m. Friday, a Broome County sheriff’s deputy spotted a man who was wanted on a parole warrant at the Walmart in Johnson City, N.Y. The officer attempted to stop the vehicle, but the man—28-year-old Corey J. Hobart, of Conklin, N.Y.—failed to comply and a pursuit began on Interstate 81 northbound, according to Lt. David Guerrera with the Cortland Police Department.

New York State Police joined the chase as the man got off I-81 at Exit 10 in Polkville/McGraw and drove into the City of Cortland, where city police deployed a tire deflation device. The man continued driving with flat tires through the city on various streets until arriving at the Hampton Inn at 26 River Street.

Hobart exited the vehicle with a female while holding a handgun pointed at her and the pursuing officers. They made it to the hotel and went into a room that was rented out by the woman, identified as 27-year-old Jeri Ann Healy, of Johnson City.

The hotel was evacuated of all patrons, and additional law enforcement were called to the scene. Negotiations began to try and lure Hobart and the woman out of the room. Police learned that Healy was being held against her will, and Hobart agreed to let her leave the room at around 11 a.m.

Negotiations continued, and Hobart told police that he was in possession of two handguns and a shotgun, along with an unknown supply of illegal narcotics. The talks continued for several hours until Hobart stopped communicating with police.

At around 11 p.m., two loud explosions were heard coming from the hotel. They appeared to be flash bang grenades, though this was not confirmed by police.

At around 3 a.m., law enforcement personnel were able to gain entry into the room using tactical devices. Hobart was found unresponsive in the bathroom with what appeared to be self-inflicted injuries. He was treated at the scene and transported to Upstate Medical University Hospital in Syracuse, where he remains in critical condition.

Healy was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree for a quantity of heroin found in her vehicle after a search.

The Cortland Police Department was assisted by the Cortland County Sheriff’s Office, the Broome County Sheriff’s Office, the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police, the Ithaca Police Department, the Syracuse Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York State Parole, the Cortland Fire Department, the Endicott Police Department, the Homer Police Department and TLC Ambulance.

“The staff and ownership of the Hampton Inn were extremely helpful to law enforcement operations during this incident,” Lt. Guerrera said.