Methuen man arrested after tense SWAT standoff held without bail

METHUEN, MASS. (WHDH) - A Methuen man arrested after a tense SWAT standoff with authorities was ordered held without bail at his appearance in Lawrence District Court Thursday.

A SWAT team was called to College Lane around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday after Steve O’Neal, 38, retreated into an attic when officers attempted to execute arrest warrants for breaking and entering, drug and gun charges.

O’Neil was arrested without incident about an hour later after authorities found him hiding inside an end table, police. Along with the three outstanding warrants, he also faces a fugitive from justice warrant.

There were no reported injuries and Solomon said O’Neil had recently struggled with mental health issues and has been linked to a recent break-in at a convenience store in Seabrook, New Hampshire.

O’Neil is also the suspect involved in the theft of a dog from a Walgreen’s in Nashua, New Hampshire Sunday, Solomon confirmed.

“The dog owner said she tracked him through Facebook,” Solomon said with a smile, adding, “She’s quite the detective.”

The dog’s owner, Lily Martinez, told 7News she received a call about 36 hours later telling her the dog was at the College Lane address, where she was reunited with her pet.

“If I didn’t put that picture on Facebook like I did…I don’t think they’d have him right now,” Martinez said.

Prior to the arrest, heavily armed police officers could be seen surrounding the home and taking cover behind tactical vehicles.

A search of O’Neil’s home led to the discovery of a rifle and several imitation guns, according to police.