AUGUSTA (WJBF) – We’re learning more about the man behind that hostage situation out of Aiken County.
42-year-old Nathaniel Meade has been taken into custody following a standoff with the police. NewsChannel 6 spoke with neighbors of Meade, who say they’ve had to call the police to his home several times for suspicious activities.
“It did not surprise me,” said one neighbor.
“I knew that there was something kind of off,” said another neighbor.
“Every single one of us knew that something was going on in that house,” said Susan Garrett who lives one door down.
This is the rental home that Nathan Meade has been living in for the past year. One of his neighbors Susana Garrett says Meade was one of those neighbors who stuck out like a sore thumb.
“When he moved in traffic increased significantly in very short increments of time. They would come, stop for five minutes, and it’s a cul-de-sac, so they would pull in turn around, and drive off. We all just knew what was going on.
Garrett and several other neighbors believed Meade was selling drugs out of his home.
“It’s just been a lot of things happening at that house that shouldn’t have been happening. People coming and going all times of the night. Things that just didn’t look very good,” said Rob Derr.
Garrett says her suspicions grew when he began building something in his backyard.
She says, “He started constructing some sort of building in the back of the house. So, we called about that saying something is going on. I mean it looked like a meth lab. Especially with all of the traffic and he’d be working on it all hours of the night.”
According to an incident report, Meade had been arrested back in February during a traffic stop for Drug trafficking.
It says before they arrested him he threatened to physically assault the officers. After searching his car they found more than 18 grams of crack cocaine. Garrett says there was an incident Tuesday night – just one night before that hostage situation – that really shook her up.
“We were at a baseball game, came home and the roommate of Nathan Meade came banging on the door. I opened it and he said Nathan just pistol whipped me,” she said.
Garrett says the roommate had scratches on his face from that incident. She called the police and they quickly responded, but instead of arresting Meade, they issued him a bench warrant.
“So, the hostage situation, all of that could’ve been alleviated if they would’ve arrested him on Tuesday night,” she said. “They assumed that he had been meth’d up for six days, so they thought it’d be better to serve him with a bench warrant.” she continued.
And now Garrett is left questioning law enforcement’s judgment.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous. Not one person went down there to check the residence. You had somebody that was assaulted admitted to being assaulted and not one person would go down there. I’m a single mom with three kids. What if that was me?