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UPDATE: Arson suspect no stranger to police

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UPDATED: July 19, 2013 --- 10:07pm

After a day-long standoff, Madison police now have a suspect in custody. And as NBC 15 found out, this is far from the suspect's first run-in with the law.

The standoff started at 5am Friday and ended at 5pm Friday, making it a difficult day for neighbors, and a hectic day for area drivers, with surrounding streets shut down for most of the day.

We took a look at the background of suspect, Steven Lyons, and found quite a lengthy rap sheet.

Madison police spent 12 hours outside an apartment complex on Gorham Street. Andrew Zabawa lives at the complex. It was tiring day for him and his neighbors. The building was evacuated at 4AM, because of a fire in the stairwell. Police showed up to talk to Lyons, but things didn't go well.

"We tried to negotiate with him to come out. He did no want to come out” says Madison Police Department Public Information Officer Joel DeSpain.

Lyons is suspected of started that fire. Police spent all day trying to get him to come out of his apartment, but he refused to cooperate. Chemicals were believed to be inside Lyon’s apartment, posing a risk for an explosion. The building was evacuated and area traffic was shut down.

NBC 15 found out that this isn't Lyons first brush with the law.

He's been previously charged and convicted of attempted battery, several counts of theft, a hit and run, fleeing a police officer, and battery to an officer.

This also isn't the first time in the past month that police have been out at Lyon’s apartment. A few weeks ago, officers were there after neighbors complained about the smell of chemicals. Lyon's was charged with abuse of a hazardous substance. That case is still pending.

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UPDATED July 19, 2013 --- 5:59 p.m.

56-year-old Steven Lyons is now in custody after a standoff on E. Gorham St.

Madison police and firefighters were investigating a fire earlier today.

They wanted to get in touch with Lyons, a person of interest in that case, but they say he was not cooperating.

Lyons was taken into custody around 5:00 p.m. Friday. He was holed up in his apartment bathroom. Police used a pepper spray-like substance and non-lethal beanbags.

Police had been concerned that there were chemicals in the apartment.

Lyons was taken to the hospital to be checked out. He will then be taken to the Dane Co. jail.

He faces a tentative arson charge, and other charges are likely.

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UPDATED July 19, 2013 --- 4:59 p.m.

Madison Police confirm that the suspect in the E. Gorham St. standoff is in custody.

The 56-year-old man faces a tentative charge of arson.

Stay with NBC15 for more on this developing story.

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Friday July 19, 2013 -- 12:21 p.m.

MADISON, Wis.-- Madison police have closed the 1200 block of E. Gorham St. and the 1200 block of E. Johnson St. as part of an arson investigation that could be a police stand-off as well.

Police were helping the Madison Fire Dept. investigate a small fire in an apartment hallway. Officers wanted to talk to a possible suspect, but he has not been found yet. Police believe he is inside his apartment.

A chemical odor is coming from inside that apartment. Other people living in the apartment building have been evacuated.


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