BLYTHEVILLE, AR -- Another hostage standoff with police, this time in Blytheville, comes to a much more peaceful end.
It started around 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon when Tojaun Reed of Blytheville took his 2-year-old child hostage.
William Johnson is a neighbor to Reed. He also was a witness to Thursday's hostage standoff with police. After being released from prison, Johnson says Reed was on parole and police initially arrived at his residence to arrest him for parole violations.
"Obviously, the gentlemen didn't want to go back and they were coming to get him. He ran back in the house and as far as I could see, he had a gun," says Johnson.
Johnson recalls seeing Reed's wife, Precious, outside at this time.
"She was carrying her little baby, her littlest one. She has another one that was in there and I learned later that her husband was holding them hostage," says Johnson.
Tojaun told police that he had a weapon and that he wasn't going to allow them into his home, where he was holding his 2 year old hostage. Once they realized that a simple arrest had turned into a hostage standoff, they immediately questioned the suspect's wife about the weapon.
"She confirmed the fact that she had not seen him with any, which was a plus. She was able to tell us about his physical condition, such as the narcotics and the alcohol and also of course, the child's presence inside the residence," says Assistant Chief Marvin Crawford of the Blytheville Police Department.
Police believe Reed was high on crack cocaine and also intoxicated from alcohol. Johnson says that may explain some of his erratic behavior.
"We saw him keep coming to the door. He'd have on his shirt, then he'd have it off, then he'd come back with it on, then he'd raise it up and show his pistol," says Johnson.
Eventually, after 2 hours of the standoff, police were able to communicate with Tojaun and make a negotiation.
"He opened the side door and released the child and let the child walk toward us and then shut the door back," says Asst. Chief Crawford.
Police weren't sure at this time where the standoff would go from here, but soon after releasing the child, he calmly walked out the apartment and surrendered to police.
"I was really relieved. Like I said, I thought it was going to be a bad situation. I thought they were going to kill him, but it didn't work out like that and I commend Blytheville Police Department," adds Johnson.
The suspect, 39 year old Tojaun Reed is being held at the Mississippi County Jail. He is facing charges of endangering the welfare of a child and terroristic threatening.