High-speed chase ends with hostage situation at adult superstore

COLDWATER, Mich. — A high-speed chase that started in Indiana and turned into a hostage situation in Coldwater ended peacefully on Tuesday.

Lt. Dave Wood with the Michigan State Police, said no one was injured. The suspect was taken into custody.

The pursuit began just before 10 a.m. in Angola, Ind. where police said the suspect robbed a CVS pharmacy.

“He had apparently robbed the CVS store for some narcotic medications,” Lt. Wood said.

After traveling nearly 25 miles, the suspect pulled into the parking lot of The Lion’s Den, located off the I-69 Jonesville Road exit in Coldwater.

Wood said the suspect, on drugs and armed with a gun, ran inside the adult superstore, barricaded himself inside and took an employee hostage.

“She did a great job of calming him down, building a rapport with him…he connected with her right away,” Wood said.  “He didn’t take her cellphone away. So, she was able to text information out to a friend, who had then called the dispatch center…let us know about how he was doing…his ups and downs with the narcotics that he was taking.”

That’s when negotiations began between the suspect and a Branch County dispatcher.

“She just did a real good job at keeping him calm and keeping him focused on the task at hand, which is, ‘we can get you some help…you’re not alone with a drug addiction,'” Wood said.

Wood said both the dispatcher and the employee were able to build a bond with the suspect, which led to his surrender.

“The dispatcher promised him that if he came out that she would come out and see him,” Wood said.

Upon the suspect turning himself in the dispatcher also honored her word. She was there as he came out of the store.

“He called her…he says, ‘you’re an angel, you just saved my life today,'” Wood said. “So, he was intending on dying.”

Police are not releasing the identity of the suspect. He’s being held at the Branch County Jail.

Wood said he’s facing several charges, including kidnapping.  The suspect will then be taken back to Indiana where he could face additional charges.

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