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What you need to know for 01/22/2017

Waterford man in custody after Monday standoff

Waterford man in custody after Monday standoff

Rashann Hunt, 36, is in custody after law enforcement officials spent hours Monday night trying to n
Waterford man in custody after Monday standoff
Saratoga County sheriff's deputies block traffic at Third Avenue in Waterford on Monday during what police said was a standoff with an armed man inside an apartment.
Photographer: HALEY VICARRO/GAZETTE REPORTER

Rashann Hunt, 36, is in custody after law enforcement officials spent hours Monday night trying to negotiate with him while he was holed up inside a Waterford apartment after a domestic dispute earlier in the day.

Waterford police said that Hunt, of Cohoes, was taken into custody at 1:38 a.m. Tuesday morning and is in Saratoga County Jail. He faces first-degree burglary, first-degree criminal contempt, possession of a weapon and other charges.

Hunt used a gun to threaten his girlfriend and their 7-year-old daughter Monday afternoon. According to police, Hunt also assaulted the woman on Sunday and kept her and the girl in the apartment for 10 hours until they were able to flee. Hunt ran from police Sunday night, but reappeared on Monday.

According to police, the 7-year-old called 911 Monday saying, "Mommy and Daddy are hurting each other." Hunt was armed with a handgun and one officer suffered a broken arm and other injuries after diving for cover.

The woman and girl managed to get out of the building. The female victim suffered serious injuries, according to police. Officers were negotiating with the man who remained in the building through Monday night.

Keith Francis, who lives on the first floor of the building, gave the following account:

“The guy held the girlfriend and girl hostage. The little girl ran downstairs and burst through our front door saying her mother was in danger. He held them hostage before in January.”

Francis said the woman and her daughter live on the second floor and the daughter ran downstairs to his apartment around 2:45 p.m.

"He was threatening the cops and pointing a gun at them," Francis said.

As of 6 p.m., negotiators were attempting to get the man to leave the house willingly. Harming him would be their last resort, a Waterford officer said.

“This isn’t the first time this kind of thing has happened,” said Sarah Grant, who also lives on the first floor of the building. “They had good days and bad days. I went shopping, so I wasn't in the house when this all happened."

Officers surrounded the house about 4 p.m., blocked off several streets and evacuated nearby homes. Some residents in the area were housed in a shelter at the Waterford Rescue Squad.

Monday evening dozens of residents stood around the perimeter of Grace Street, waiting to see what would happen.

After getting out of the house, the 7-year-old was carried across the street by her uncle. She was greeted with applause from onlookers, with some screaming, “It’s OK little girl!”

Some police arrived at the scene with trunks filled with rifles, while others had trunks filled with bottled water on the steamy night. They were preparing to be there for most of the night.

“I’m going to go ask him if he can take a selfie with me,” one teenager said to his friends. “Selfies with the SWAT man, yo, that’s cool.”

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