Crisis Negotiators Prevented Harm in Castaic Standoff

LASD said that they deal with these types of situations at least three times a week.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A woman surrendered Wednesday afternoon more than three hours after barricading herself in her mobile home in Castaic following an alleged kidnapping incident Wednesday Aug. 13, 2014, sheriff’s deputies said.

    The woman who allegedly kidnapped a man at gunpoint and forced him to drive her to a Castiac home where she barricaded herself for three hours, had a love for dogs which helped in securing her surrender, authorities said.

    Melissa Bryant, 43, released the man unharmed and eventually gave herself up after hours of intense negotiation, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.

    Deputies said they deal with these types of situations at least three times a week.

    "She had claimed that she was not going to come out and the reason was because she did not want to be committed based on her mental illness," said Lt. Carlos Marquez, commander for the LASD Crisis Negotiation Team.

    Family Vetted Information on Armed Barricade Suspect: Officials

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    Officials say a 4-hour barricade situation in Castaic Lake Wednesday ended safely in part due to the information provided by the suspect's family and friends. Lolita Lopez reports for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. from East Los Angeles Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014.

    Authorities said that she had allegedly gotten high on methamphetamines the day before, which escalated the situation.

    There were conversations back and forth and at least a dozen cellphone calls between Bryant and negotiators before she surrendered. Family and friends of the woman fed deputies information during the standoff.

    "One of the things that we learned that would calm her down was her love for her animals," Marquez said. "Specifically one her dogs."

    Deputies in these units require at least 10 years on the job because each moment comes down to split-second yet very calculated decisions.

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