Campbellsville man tased after three-hour standoff near CU campus

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The situation caused Campbellsville University to lock down part of campus

By The Staff


A standoff between law enforcement and a Campbellsville man inside his residence on Durrett Street in Campbellsville ended with the man being tased and taken into custody, according to a report from the Campbellsville Police Department.

Elwin Hardin, 78, was taken into custody after being incapacitated after a police officer deployed his taser on Hardin following a three-hour standoff with law enforcement at his home.

Police were initially called to the residence at 115 Durrett Street, near the Campbellsville University campus, at approximately 3:19 p.m., according to the police report. A female acquaintance of Hardin called Campbellsville E-911 to request officers check on Hardin, who had told her that he was in possession of a handgun and planned to kill someone.

According to Campbellsville Police officials, during negotiations, Hardin opened the door briefly, just a few seconds at most, with the weapon in hand.

Officers stationed in front of the house saw the weapon in hand, and a warrant for Hardin’s arrest was sought and signed by a local judge, as well as a warrant to search the residence.

That weapon later turned out to be an airsoft gun, but police officials say that the orange tip on it had been removed. The orange tip is placed on them to provide a visual clue of the difference between it and a traditional firearm.

Officers discovered that it was an airsoft gun after arresting Hardin when an officer picked the gun up.

“Just looking at it, if you take that orange tip off, it’s hard to tell the difference just getting a quick look at it,” Sgt. David Tucker of the Campbellsville Police Department. “You can tell the difference when you pick it up.”

Officers tried to make contact with Hardin multiple times during the situation, via phone and by intercom. During this negotiation, troopers with Kentucky State Police and deputies with the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office arrived to assist on the scene.

During one phone call to the residence, according to the CPD report, Hardin told officers he refused to go out of the house, but told officers to come to the door because he “had a surprise for them.”

Campbellsville Police say that Hardin had been drinking prior to the incident.

Tucker said that a previous incident with Hardin, in which he drove his car through the Sallyport area of the Taylor County Detention Center according to a 2012 police report, heightened the incident as officers knew this could be a dangerous situation.

Eventually, officers were able to get in touch with a family member of Hardin and Lebanon Police as well as the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office transported that family member to the scene, where she called and made contact with Hardin.

According to Campbellsville Police, Hardin told the family member that he would come out of the house without the weapon. However, when he stepped out, he still had the weapon, holding it at his side facing downward.

Tucker said that the gun was never pointed in a threatening manner, and at the time, they still believed it was a lethal firearm without a clear distinction it wasn’t.

Hardin still being in possession of the firearm when he came out of the residence led to a police officer deploying the taser, Tucker said, and Hardin was arrested without incident following the deployment of the taser at around 6:30 p.m.

He was taken to Taylor Regional Hospital for medical clearance before being lodged in the Taylor County Detention Center around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday night, according to jail records.

Law enforcement notified Campbellsville University at around 6:45 p.m. that they were clear to resume all normal activities, as the situation had been resolved. Previously, law enforcement had blocked several streets around the scene as a safety precaution. There was never a direct threat to Campbellsville University, but university officials locked down the Men’s Village area on the west end of campus as a precautionary measure while law enforcement dealt with the situation.

Hardin is currently lodged in the Taylor County Detention Center on a $10,000 full cash bond on charges of possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, third degree terroristic threatening, resisting arrest, and two counts of menacing.

Tucker said that the situation could have ended in a much worse fashion than it did.

“I’m glad it worked out the way it did,” he said. “It could’ve been a whole lot worse.”