UPDATE: Police identify Keyser woman who held hostages at Chessie FCU
By Liz Beavers
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - Police have identified the woman who held five hostages at the Chessie Federal Credit Union in Keyser and kept law enforcement at bay for approximately two hours Monday.
According to a press release from the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office, Mary Ann Crossland, 38, of Keyser, was successfully taken into custody at the conclusion of the standoff.
Five hostages - three tellers and two customers - were all unharmed in the incident.
According to the release, Mineral County 911 received a report of a hold-up/panic alarm going off at the credit union at the intersection of U.S. Route 220 and Southern Drive at approximately 1:43 p.m. Monday.
A second caller reported that a female subject was in the bank and armed with a shotgun and possibly multiple hostages.
According to scanner traffic at the time, she had arrived at the bank in a taxi cab, which remained parked in front of the credit union during the standoff.
Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to the scene and set up a perimeter around the bank, which included rerouting traffic from Route 220 and the southern end of Southern Drive. Surrounding businesses were also evacuated and/or placed on lockdown.
In addition to the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office, Keyser City Police, West Virginia State Police and the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office were also on the scene.
Additional personnel and a hostage negotiator from the Mineral County Sheriff's Office were also called in, as well as hostage negotiators and tactical equipment from Allegany County, a Special Response Team from the West Virginia State Police and additional support personnel from the West Virginia Division of Highways, multiple EMS agencies, Hampshire County Sheriff's Office, W.Va. Division of Natural Resources Police, W.Va. Fire Marshals Office, The Potomac Highlands Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, the FBI and the Keyser Fire Department.
As communications were established with people in the bank, it was determined that there were a total of five other people plus the suspect inside.
Negotiations were established with the suspect and she was identified.
During the incident, the subject asked to speak with the FBI and to be given a polygraph test. At one point she also asked for a pizza and soda from a local restaurant.
Approximately 1 1/2 hours into the ordeal, negotiators were able to secure the release of two of the people in the bank and continued communications with the suspect.
As negotiations continued, the suspect left her firearm and entered another room of the bank. An emergency tactical entry was completed by the WVSP SRT and the suspect was taken into custody without incident.
No injuries were reported by any of the victims and all were secured unharmed.
The suspect was arrested and charged with five counts of kidnapping as well as possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.
Crossland was transported to the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail for holding.
“This incident was brought to a successful conclusion through great cooperation of multiple agencies from two states and several counties as well as across multiple emergency service disciplines,” said a spokesperson for the sherif’s office.
“ The Mineral County Sheriff's Office would like to thank all involved.”