DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit police were able to rescue a man, woman and two children who were being held against their will after an apparent home invasion on the city’s west side.
The situation unfolded around 2 a.m. Thursday near Central Street and Lafayette Boulevard, in the area of I-75 and Springwells Street. Police say the incident started as a home invasion but turned into a standoff.
Kareem Maluti told WWJ’s Ron Dewey he was talking to his cousin on the phone when he realized something was terribly wrong.
“He just hung up on me. I thought it was weird that he hung up and he didn’t even call back so I called back and he said ‘Hey, I’m getting robbed. They got guns, get over here quick.’ So I didn’t even hesitate, I just jumped in my car and even passed a couple red lights to get over here and try to help him out,” he said.
Maluti called 911 and said he put his own life on the line by blocking the driveway so the suspects couldn’t escape in their car.
Police Commander John Certa said one of suspects was taken into custody after trying to pull a fast one on officers.
“When the first citizens were coming out when our officers arrived on the scene, one of the suspects pretended to be one of the hostages with the female, and all officers were quickly able to determine that he was not one of the hostages but one of the perpetrators. So, he was quickly taken into custody” Certa said.
Police Chief James Craig said a second gunman eventually gave himself up after a number of tactics were used, including tear gas, and was immediately taken into custody.
Deputy Chief James Tolbert said the third and final gunman, only 17-years-old, was eventually taken into custody after officers entered the home.
“After deploying our special response team and the tactics of which they use, our officers from the special response team made entry. They were able to encounter the final suspect inside the house, he was taken into custody without any incident and was subsequently arrested,” Tolbert said.
Craig said the home invasion was not random, and that the suspects specifically targeted the house “for something of value.”
Certa said the man who was rescued was beaten by the suspects, and taken to the hospital for treatment. The children were not physically harmed. No other injuries were reported.
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