Police rescue 4 children in standoff with father
24 August 2004 , AMSTERDAM — Police rescued four kidnapped children in Maastricht on Tuesday morning and arrested their 40-year-old father who had threatened to set himself alight if attempts were made to end the standoff by force.
24 August 2004
AMSTERDAM — Police rescued four kidnapped children in Maastricht on Tuesday morning and arrested their 40-year-old father who had threatened to set himself alight if attempts were made to end the standoff by force.
The alarm was raised at about 11pm on Monday after a man doused himself with petrol on a city street and threatened to set fire to himself.
He then went back into his house on the Largostraat, where he aimed a gun at police who were moving in to end the stand-off. He threatened to kill himself and his four children, aged five, four, two and seven months.
The man had held one of the children in his arms when threatening to kill himself and the children, news agency ANP reported.
Out of safety concerns, dozens of residents of the apartment block in the southern Dutch city were evacuated and taken to a nearby neighbourhood centre. The gas supply to the building was shut down to prevent possible explosions or fire.
A fireman then freed one of the children from the balcony of the flat and special operations police later persuaded the man at about 2.15am on Tuesday to free the other three children.
He then voluntarily surrendered to police and an initial search of the house revealed that the man's gun was a non-lethal alarm pistol.
Apartment residents were allowed to return to their homes after a further search of the Maastricht man's apartment gave the all clear.
The children have been taken to the suspect's girlfriend, who was not present during the siege and police investigations into the incident continue.
[Copyright Novum Nieuws 2004]
Subject: Dutch news