Armed standoff ends after SWAT member sings Christmas carol

Crooner Bing Crosby in a top hat

Crooner Bing Crosby in a top hat

It wasn't the Nat King Cole version of "White Christmas" that the suspect requested, but it worked.

Authorities say an armed man who held off SWAT members for 10 hours surrendered after one of them sang him a Christmas carol.

Nathaniel R Lewis, 34, of East Vincent, was charged Wednesday with 11 counts of attempted murder, aggravated assault, and related crimes.

As the negotiator began crooning "White Christmas", Lewis left his home and surrendered to police. "[It was a] tremendous job all around".

The Reading Eagle reports the 34-year-old Lewis allegedly fired at police officers who had responded when a concerned relative reported him acting erratically Christmas night.

Lewis fired at the police again at 6:11 a.m. and 6:15 a.m., with police returning fire each time, according to the affidavit.

It took four verses of the Bing Crosby carol for Lewis to come out.

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Lewis fired shots again from the second floor, this time striking an armored police vehicle, at 6.05am, prompting police to fire once into Lewis' home.

The Chester County Regional Emergency Response Team arrived at the home around 10:30 p.m. and a negotiator used the wife's cell phone to call Lewis. No officers were hurt, the Inquirer reported.

Chester County District Attorney Thomas Hogan posted about the incident on his Facebook page, saying he took Christmas cookies to the officers to boost morale after the nine-hour standoff.

The bullets struck the SWAT team's armored auto, another home and a civilian's vehicle, WGAL-TV reported.

East Vincent Police Chief Matt Williams said diffusing situations like the Christmas night standoff is why his crew prepares and places themselves in harm's way.

Then, around 7 a.m., Lewis asked the negotiators to sing a Christmas song. "The defendant was taken into custody, but he wasn't killed". A preliminary hearing for Lewis will be held on January 7, 2019.

Amy Lieu is a news editor and reporter for Fox News.

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