ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Florida. – A pizza place worker was rescued and a man was arrested after a seven-hour police standoff in Altamonte Springs, police said.
Neal Pittard, 49, was taken into custody and faces charges of forcible confinement, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and battery, Altamonte Springs police said.
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The situation began Monday night at Hungry Howie’s on State Road 434, north of State Road 436.
Police said the man’s wife informed authorities that her husband was at the Hungry Howie’s and made suicide threats. Police say Pittard also made several threats to harm store employees and then let them all go but one.
Witnesses told police that Pittard had a gun with an orange tip.
A SWAT team from the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office was deployed, along with negotiators, to get Pittard to stand down. Other organizations have also helped.
At around 1 a.m. Tuesday, police activated their sirens and several loud bangs sounded as smoke filled the air outside the store.
A swarm of SWAT team officers escorted Pittard out of the building on a stretcher and loaded him into an ambulance.
The employee held hostage inside the building was not injured, police said.
Nearby businesses were evacuated when the standoff unfolded.
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