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Suspect In Custody After Burger King Hostage Situation

BALTIMORE (WJZ)— There were tense moments in southwest Baltimore as a rape suspect barricaded himself in a fast food restaurant and held the people inside hostage---including a young girl.

Amy Yensi has more on the standoff and how it ended.

The standoff ended after five and a half hours. Police were vary careful because one of the young hostages was a young girl. It took a lot of negotiation but he surrendered peacefully.

With his hands up in the air, the man police say held four people hostage inside a southwest Burger King surrendered. He walked out with the remaining two hostages: a seven-year-old girl and the restaurant's 25-year-old manager. He let a 17-year-old restaurant employee and a 67-year-old male customer go free hours before. The suspect didn't resist as he lay down on the ground.

"I see cops converging where I am. I just figured out `I think this is the guy cops are looking for.' When I looked at all the friends and everybody there, I said, `We need to get out of here right now,'" said witness Seth McFall.

It started at 11 a.m. Sunday afternoon when an officer spotted the armed suspect, who was wanted in connection with a rape that happened Saturday.

"He tried to initiate a traffic stop but the individual did not stop the vehicle," said TJ Smith, Baltimore City police. "A pursuit began."

The police chase ended on Washington Boulevard when the suspect crashed into another car, wrecking his own. He ran into a nearby Burger King where he held the people inside against their will for over five hours.

Police and SWAT team officers surrounded Washington Boulevard and Monroe Street, along with reinforcement from neighboring counties. Negotiators talked to the suspect, enlisting the help of relatives of the hostages.

Danielle Montgomery is the cousin of the youngest hostage. She spoke to the suspect for 20 minutes.

"I just asked him to toss the gun and walk out with his hands up and that's what he did," Montgomery said.

The seven-year-old girl and the three other hostages walked away unharmed but the emotional strain was too much for the girl's mother.

"He made the decision to do the right thing and that was not harm anyone. He absolutely had the opportunity to do so but he chose not to do so," Smith said.

The seven-year-old girl is related to an employee of the restaurant. That's why she was there at the time.

Police have not identified the suspect but they're still investigating the rape.

Police say one person was injured in connection with the initial crash with the suspect. That person was treated for minor injuries.

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