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UPDATE: Police standoff in Grand Rapids

8:42 PM, Nov 23, 2012   |    comments
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GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)-A man is facing charges after a police standoff lasting more than four hours.

Grand Rapids police were called to an apartment on Garfield Avenue NW around 4:30 a.m. Friday on a report that man with a large knife was threatening and assaulting the residents. When officers arrived, two people who had already escaped from the apartment told police that the man was still inside, holding a woman hostage.

A special response team surrounded the home, but had a tough time making contact with the suspect, leading to a long wait.

"That's what kind of hampered our efforts a little bit. We wanted to have our negotiator throw a phone in and we were eventually able to do that, once a search warrant was obtained," explained Captain Dan Savage.

Officers spoke with the victim using that phone and eventually took the suspect into custody. The victim's cousin, Yolanda Beck, says the two of them were visiting her hours before the standoff, and that they recently broke up. However, Beck believes holiday drinking is to blame for the incident.

"This is shocking to me, he's usually this fun, laughable guy. He's always helping out somebody. I just can't believe this and I know for a fact that it's the alcohol that's playing a big factor," says Beck. "I just really hope there's more help available for him for these purposes."

The suspect is in the Kent County jail, awaiting arraignment on two counts of felonious assault.

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