A drunk man in a family fight used a 3-month-old baby as a shield in a standoff with deputies in Quitman County, Ga., authorities there said today.
According to the Quitman County Sheriff's Office, deputies called to Club Road in Georgetown were told 23-year-old Derrick Dwight Thomas had "viciously attacked" relatives and neighbors during a domestic dispute.
As deputies questioned witnesses, Thomas snatched an infant from a woman's arms and barricaded himself in a mobile home that authorities then surrounded, they said.
As they negotiated, they saw Thomas several times use the baby as a shield as he talked through open windows, they said. After an hour, Thomas let deputies have the child, but refused to give up and had to be wrestled down, they said.
“We were in position and prepared to do what was necessary to ensure the safety of this baby had he attempted to harm the child. Thomas was very intoxicated at the time and basically went crazy. He injured several people,” Sheriff Steve Newton said today in a statement.
Added Chief Deputy Eddie Ingram: “This incident could have turned deadly very quick. Everyone was relieved when he released the baby." Thomas has been jailed without bond, charged with one count of kidnapping, the sheriff said, adding that other charges are likely.