A woman holds a 6-year-old child and quickly departs the scene of a four-hour police standoff after a woman and her two young children, including the child pictured, were released from a home during a domestic situation. Manuel Otero, 32, was arrested on outstanding warrants from Bernalillo County. (Amy Vogelsang Photo)
Police and SWAT Team officers responded to a southwest neighborhood Tuesday after reports of a possible hostage situation.
After a three-hour standoff, a suspect was taken on outstanding warrants and the situation ended in his arrest.
Officers first responded at 3 p.m. outside a home on Sequoia Avenue near the corner of Bland Street after receiving reports of a woman being held against her will inside the home, according to Roswell Police Department Public Information Liaison Sabrina Morales.
A SWAT Team was called to the scene to attempt to extricate the alleged hostages. One occupant inside the house was identified as Manuel Otero, 32.
The domestic situation involved Otero, and a woman and her two young girls, ages 1 and 6, who were inside the house.
Police reportedly originally thought the woman was being held against her will. This was later confirmed as unfounded, Morales said.
Just after 6 p.m., the woman and her two small children were released from the home, leaving Otero inside.
Police threw a flashbang explosive device to disorient Otero. Otero willingly walked out of the house where officers had been waiting for nearly four hours.
Otero was arrested on outstanding warrants from Bernalillo County, Morales said.
Family members gathered outside the home as the situation developed.
“(Otero’s) been hiding,” said a family member, who declined to give her name. “He’s been on the run for a long time.”
“He lives with us,” said the 6-year-old who was inside the house during the standoff.
Otero’s aunt, who refused to give her name to the paper, said he “took care of (the girls) like they were his.”