Witnesses Speak on Hostage Standoff - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

01/10/05

Witnesses Speak on Hostage Standoff

The suspect is led away. The suspect is led away.

A shocking crime still has people talking in McIntosh County as police continue to search for answers. It all started Saturday when a woman robbed a taxi at gunpoint in Townsend, Georgia, a usually quiet town.

That crime snowballed into a dangerous hostage situation, with police all over, SWAT teams called in, and McIntosh County neighbors wondering what in the world was going on.

"First time I ever saw anything like this," said resident Marcia Evans. "It's horrifying."

Around 2pm, the armed robbery led police to the Knights Inn. The suspect, a white female, ran into one of the rooms and took a 77-year-old woman hostage.

"It's kind of like a movie, but I've never seen anything like this," said witness Ankur Patel.

Police couldn't coax the woman out. Negotiation tactics didn't work. "The lady started yelling for people to leave her alone or she would kill somebody," Patel told us.

Authorities used chemical agents, but the suspect still wouldn't come out. So they used force. They went in and physically took the woman out.

Nine hours later, the elderly woman was safe and her captor was carted off to jail with superficial wounds to her head.

"I'm glad it's over," said Marcia Evans. "It's been a long time."

Now Townsend can get back to normal.

The GBI is handling the investigation. They're still are not saying who the suspect is, what her relationship was to the elderly hostage, or why she took the woman hostage.

Reported by: Don Logana, dlogana@wtoc.com

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