Hostage standoff ends peacefully after more than 5 hours, police say

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WEST VALLEY CITY — A more than five-hour standoff and hostage situation in West Valley ended peacefully Monday.

A man who had been holding his girlfriend's father hostage inside the man's mobile home released the father about 1:40 p.m. and then surrendered, police said.

"Our goal was to negotiate and over time develop a rapport where we would be able to ultimately get the suspect to voluntarily surrender," said West Valley Police Chief Lee Russo.

The incident began about 7 a.m. as a domestic dispute between a man and his girlfriend in the 4200 South block of Peggy Way (5280 West). The girlfriend's family lives at the house, West Valley police spokeswoman Roxeanne Vainuku said. At some point, someone from inside the residence called 911.

As this was happening, the girlfriend's father offered to drive the boyfriend home to 7114 W. Palomino Drive (2800 South). By the time they reached the mobile home, the situation somehow escalated, Vainuku said.

Shots were fired, she said. There was evidence of a broken car mirror at the scene with glass on the ground. The boyfriend threatened the father with a gun, according to police. The West Valley City Police Department's SWAT team was deployed to surround the house about 8:30 a.m. and try to negotiate a peaceful resolution.

Nearby Entheos Academy kept students indoors as a precaution during the standoff. Reverse 911 calls were also made to nearby residents advising them to stay inside their homes. Residents who left their homes were not allowed back in until the situation was resolved.

The situation inside the house became less volatile as the standoff went on, said Russo. Hostage negotiators were spoke to the boyfriend by phone. About 15 minutes after letting the father go, the boyfriend surrendered.

Oscar Alcantara, 23, of West Valley City, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm by a restricted person and discharge of a firearm. Russo said Alcantara is known to law enforcement.

Alcantara has a lengthy criminal history, according to Utah state court records. He was convicted of a restricted person in possession of a firearm in 2014 and sentenced to the Salt Lake County Jail in August for violating his probation in the case. Alcantara was also convicted of drugs or weapons-related charges in two other cases filed in 2013, according to court records. He pleaded guilty in May of 2014 to domestic violence related assault, and no contest to a similar charge in 2012.

Contributing: Mike Anderson


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