Residents along the 2200 block of Harwood Avenue in Upper Darby say that theirs is a tranquil street, that William Dean was a quiet and pleasant neighbor.
So what happened late Sunday was somewhat of a shock: Dean allegedly fired several shots at a next-door neighbor, barricaded himself inside his house, and finally was arrested after a three-hour standoff early Monday.
The victim, James Meehan, who was treated at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center for a gunshot wound, professed to be as surprised as anyone, saying he and Dean were "as cool as next-door neighbors could be."
Dean, 33, is being held on $1 million bail on charges that include aggravated assault and terroristic threats, said Michael Chitwood, police superintendent.
Upper Darby police responded to the call about 9:45 p.m. Sunday after Meehan reported he had been struck once by the shots. Police surrounded Dean's home, where neighbors say he lived alone, and attempted to coax him out of a second-floor bedroom where he had barricaded himself.
Chitwood said Dean had surveillance cameras inside the home, and believed he could watch as police attempted to remove him. Police asked Peco to shut off electricity on part of the block to let a SWAT team force its way in by surprise. At 12:45 a.m., the team entered and arrested Dean without incident.
Police said Dean had approached Meehan outside his home and accused him of burglary - an accusation Chitwood said was unfounded. Immediately, Meehan said, Dean began firing shots with what he said was a .22-caliber handgun. No evidence has emerged indicating a handgun was used, Chitwood said, and police believe Meehan was shot with a BB gun.
After five shots were fired, Meehan said, Dean retreated into his home and began knocking on the shared wall of their rowhouse with his gun. Police arrived shortly afterward.
Chitwood said police believe Dean had recently been abusing drugs, including methamphetamine. No drugs were found in the home.
Meehan said he and Dean had never had altercations.
"We used to pass each other on the street, I'd ask about him and we'd shake hands," Meehan said. "No bad blood."
According to public records, in 2001 and 2002 Dean pleaded guilty to charges of loitering and prowling at night, resisting arrest, and criminal conspiracy. He was placed on probation.