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Man taken to crisis center after standoff in rural Watkins

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LITCHFIELD -- A rural Watkins man was taken to Woodland Crisis Center in Willmar after a two-hour standoff with police Saturday afternoon.

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According to Meeker County Sheriff Jeff Norlin, deputies attempted to serve civil process, divorce papers, around 3:25 p.m. Saturday at a residence on 647th Avenue.

The woman at the home told deputies she informed her husband that she wanted a divorce and said that the man had responded by retrieving a loaded shotgun. She said he then retreated to the area of some outside storage structures located on the property approximately 100 yards behind the home. The deputies did observe the husband outside in this area.

The Litchfield, Cosmos and Eden Valley police departments, the Stearns County and McLeod County sheriff's offices, and the Minnesota State Patrol provided assistance. The Watkins Fire Department and Ambulance Service were dispatched to stand by during this time. Roads leading to and from the property were also secured during this time.

At approximately 5:20 p.m., after some brief dialogue with the subject, he surrendered to law enforcement without further incident. The loaded shotgun was also secured from the scene. There were no threats or other criminal actions by the male party; he was transported Woodland Center for evaluation.

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