Originally Posted Online: Dec. 06, 2012, 9:53 pm
Last Updated: Dec. 07, 2012, 10:32 am

Authorities confirm death following Bettendorf standoff

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By Anthony Watt, awatt@qconline.com

More photos from this shoot
Photo: Paul Colletti
Bettendorf Chief of Police Phil Redington
More photos from this shoot
Photo: Paul Colletti
Rick Wendhausen tells residents living near an armed standoff in Bettendorf that they can not return to their homes until police have secured the scene on Wednesday December 5th. The neighborhood on the city's northeast side is blocked to traffic at the intersection of North Ridge Court and Joshua Street.

Bettendorf authorities have confirmed that a person found dead on Wednesday night was involved in a standoff with police about an hour earlier.

Bettendorf Police Department Chief Phil Redington on Thursday said officers initially were called about 3 p.m. Wednesday to the 5500 block of Joshua Street for a dispute between family members who were not spouses.

When police arrived, they found only one person in the home -- a man in his 40s armed with a handgun. An ensuing standoff lasted about three hours, with police talking to the man via telephone from until about 4:30 p.m.

Police eventually determined the situation could be resolved without their presence, Chief Redington said, and left the scene about 6:10 p.m.

Police were called back to the residence about 7:13 p.m. for a report of a possible death, Chief Redington said. He confirmed the deceased man was the same person involved in the standoff and his death appeared to be a suicide.

The case still is under investigation, said the chief, declining to provide additional details about the deceased, his cause of death or the specific address of the incident.

Initial police communications identified that address as 5501 Joshua St., Bettendorf. Scott County records indicate the property is owned by Richard E. Gless II, and neighbors on Wednesday nightidentified the man involved in the police standoff as Rick Gless, a 40-something financial adviser, who they said was in the midst of a marital separation.

"Seemed like a fairly nice guy -- had a bit of a temper," said neighbor Jim Bernas. He said he moved into the subdivision in 2004, about the same time as Mr. Gless, and attended several parties with him.He recalled last seeing Mr. Gless at the grocery store three months ago.

"Everything seemed normal then. But I guess things change," Mr. Bernas said, shaking his head and gazing down Joshua Street at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday while it was riddled with squad cars and police officers during the standoff.

Chief Redington said officials decide on a case-by-case basis if a person in a standoff is taken into custody, sent for a mental evaluation or left alone.

"There's not a set protocol for a call like that," he said.

Chief Redington said he made the decision to leave the area Wednesday night after Scott County Attorney Mike Walton told police no charges would be filed. Chief Redington said Mr. Walton was told a gun was involved, and threats might have been made.

"I didn't feel there was sufficient evidence to support a criminal charge," Mr. Walton said on Thursday.

Mr. Walton said his role was to assess the evidence to determine if criminal charges should be filed. He declined to discuss the evidence he was presented with, and could provide no details about the man who died.

Because of the ongoing investigation, and out of respect for the victim's family, Chief Redington declined to discuss the gun's involvement in the case. As in any "critical incident," police were debriefed after the incident, Chief Redington said, but there will be no review of how the department handled the matter.

"We feel the decision that we made last night was (the) correct decision," he said.
Rachel Warmke contributed to this story.