The family of a Bettendorf man who took his own life after a three-hour standoff with police Wednesday question the decision by law enforcement officials that left the man alone.
Deb Wheeler of Davenport said Friday police should have arrested her brother, 42-year-old Richard E. Gless II, after he waved a gun at their sister, Rachel Gless, at his home at 5501 Joshua St.
“I don’t know if they knew what was going on, but I think they were neglectful in their duties,” Wheeler said. “If he did wave a gun at my sister, I think that gives them probable cause to go into the house, put the cuffs on him, and take him to jail. This would never have happened.”
Police went to the home about 3 p.m. on a call the man pulled a gun on a family member and made threatening motions with it, Bettendorf Police Chief Phil Redington said.
The call led to a standoff with officers from multiple departments.
Police left the scene at
6:10 p.m. after determining that no criminal charges would be filed because no one witnessed him pull the gun on the family member, Redington said.
“A witness would be somebody other than the two people involved,” Redington said.
Wheeler said nobody else saw Gless wave the gun at Rachel Gless. Still, she questioned if police could have done more.
“At the very least arrest him for disturbing the peace,” she said. “Take him into custody for his own welfare.”
Wheeler said police were called to Gless’ house one other time earlier on Wednesday, which Redington confirmed.
Gless became angry after his wife of four years, Chelsey Gless, served him divorce papers Wednesday morning, and he began drinking, Wheeler said.
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Carly Mathias, an 18-year-old friend of the Gless family who lived at the Joshua Street address, said that on Wednesday, Richard Gless was walking around the house intoxicated and carrying a gun after the divorce papers came.
Mathias said Rachel Gless, who also lived in the home, called the police multiple times that day because she was worried about him.
“She said she was afraid he would do something,” Mathias said.
Mathias said police did not allow her into the home during the standoff. When she returned after it ended, Gless was alive, and she said she witnessed him shoot himself.
“I was trying to tell him not to do it,” Mathias said. “I was frozen.”
Wheeler said she can’t believe he’s gone.
“I miss my brother bad,” she said.