Toddler safe after supposed hostage situation by dad - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Toddler safe after supposed hostage situation by dad

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DESOTO COUNTY, MS -

(WMC-TV) - A toddler is back in safe hands after she was supposedly taken hostage by her own father.

Neighbors and police alike were frightened when officials said the man barricaded himself inside a Walls, Mississippi apartment with the child.

It turns out, the dad was not even in the apartment. However, he did have the child.

Neighbor Tiffany Merkerson was terrified when she found out what happened.

"I was scared to death. Especially when I found out it was a little girl," stated Merkerson.

Sunday morning, Walls, Mississippi police got a call about a domestic disturbance at the Laurel Park Apartments.

When they arrived, a woman told them she thought her husband may have barricaded himself inside with their 2-year-old daughter.

"Due to the situation, there being a 2-year-old involved, we wanted to make sure we were as safe as possible. We called DeSoto County to assist us, which they did. In turn, they brought the SWAT team out," said Assistant Walls Chief, Mo Equires.

The SWAT team used the vacant apartment above Merkerson to run a drill before they tried to enter.

"I can see their building from my bedroom window. So, it's scary," described Merkerson.

She and her two kids left their apartment Sunday.

"So that they are out of the line of fire, you see all these guns out here I wanted to go somewhere safe," explained Merkerson.

In the meantime, law enforcement searched the apartment and did not find anyone inside.

A short time later, they were able to reach Cassidy Thomas, 26, by phone.

Thomas drove to the Walls Police Department, where he turned himself in.

Eguires confirmed the little girl is now safe.

"The dad brought the 2-year-old with him. She was safe and now (with) the mother," Eguires said.

According to police, Thomas is charged with domestic violence, simple assault, and disturbance of family. The disturbance of family charge is similar to a disturbance of peace charge.

He is currently being booked in the DeSoto County Detention Center.

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