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JONESBORO, Ark. – A hostage situation ended before 2 PM in Jonesboro with the arrest of a man who led police on a search up Caraway Road before barricading himself in a women’s restroom of a restaurant with both an adult and juvenile held against their will.
Around 12:32 PM, JPD’s Public Information Specialist Sally Smith said police were notified of a suicidal subject who was armed and threatening self-injury at Haven Hotel, 3006 South Caraway Road. Officers arrived but the suspect wasn’t there. The suspect, who was on the phone with police, had provided them with incorrect information. He told officers he could see them from his actual location, which was a hotel down the road.
Officers figured out his actual location was near Super 8 Motel, further up the road. Police moved toward that direction on Caraway Road. Witness reports suggest SWAT units were in the area. But before authorities could apprehend the man, he ran from the hotel toward Lazzari’s Italian Oven restaurant, 2230 South Caraway Road. With customers inside, he ran inside. He charged into the women’s bathroom, barricaded himself inside with an adult and a juvenile who were already present, and refused to let them go.
The restaurant was evacuated and a stand-off began. The man was in the bathroom for some time, refusing to come out. During this time, he would not allow either adult or the child to leave. Fortunately, authorities learned he didn’t have a gun. Authorities talked him down to get him out of the restroom. The firearm was another false detail the man had apparently provided.
As they were getting ready to transport him to Craighead County Jail, Smith told NEA Report the man claimed he had consumed a large amount of a controlled substances (not pot). So he was transported to a local hospital where he is being treated for a potential overdose.
Paul Durham, 31, is the suspect in custody.
The incident was already concluded by 2 PM.
He’s expected to face numerous charges and we will update this story with that when it’s known.