Pike County sheriff deputies say they helped save a woman and her three small children from a drunken, armed gunman Tuesday night who was allegedly holding them against their will.
According to Sheriff Charles S. Reader, a concerned citizen called 9-1-1 at 9:42 p.m. on Tuesday saying her friend and her friend’s small children were being held against their will by the gunman who had fired numerous shots into the air.
“The 9-1-1 caller reported that the suspect had shot several rounds into the air and was refusing to let the woman and her three young children leave,” said Sheriff Reader.
Reader said sheriff’s office Corp. Beau Romine, Sgt. Adrian Cottrell, and Deputy Marc Thompson responded to the scene, quickly blocked off the immediate area within minutes of the call, and arrested Benjamin Hawk, 27, of Jackson. Reader said himself, Chief Deputy Bob Barbee, Lt. Brock Clemmons, and Corp. Robyn Cottrill also responded.
The man reportedly said that he “would not go” unless it was “in a body bag or handcuffs,” Reader said, but added, thankfully, the situation was quickly de-escalated. He did not go into details in a press release. A phone call to the sheriff’s office was not immediately returned.
“It was apparent he had been drinking a lot of alcohol. He had a gun on him that we were able to get away from him without incident.”
Reader said he and his deputies’ crisis intervention training led to the situation getting under control within seconds of arriving on scene.
“Myself and our deputies undergo rigorous training in the academy and many of us continue to learn crisis intervention techniques to quickly de-escalate situations like this in our annual continuing education requirements.”
Collected from the scene were two bottles of Jim Beam and the gun Hawk allegedly had when deputies arrived. Pike County Squad One responded to the scene and checked out the woman and her three young children, the eldest of whom is a mere two years old. Hawk was taken to Adena Medical Center in Chillicothe.
Reader said numerous felony and misdemeanor charges will be filed against the suspect.