Cops converged on St. Marks Place between Third and Fourth avenues Wednesday morning during a bizarre stand-off with an area resident who refused to relinquish a child under his care to city authorities.
Witnesses said that child services workers went to the address just after 7 a.m. to visit a child they believed was inside – the reasons for which were not revealed as this paper went to press.
That’s when a 20-year-old barricaded himself inside the apartment, refusing to allow the city employees in or let a seven-year-old boy under his care out.
The boy was not the child that city officials were looking for, said the child’s mother, who was also forced to stay in the apartment with her brother – the suspect – and another sibling, she told reporters.
Being barred at the gates, city officials reportedly called police, who treated the incident like a hostage situation. The street was barricaded off and cops began taking steps to free the people inside.
After a short time, the woman and child were released.
But the unidentified suspect remained inside the apartment with his six pit bulls, officials said.
He stayed inside the apartment until 11 a.m., when he finally surrendered and was taken into custody without incident.
No serious injuries were reported.
Neighbors told reporters that the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) had visited the St. Marks Place apartment several times in the last few weeks, but they didn’t know why.
An NYPD spokesman confirmed that the police were called to the address that morning, but would not disclose any further information “because of the sensitivity of the situation” and referred all other questions to ACS.
Officials from the Administration of Children’s Service had no comment as this paper went to press.