Man arrested after 4-hour SWAT standoff
JSO: Man reportedly beat his girlfriend at home on Thalia Road
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A SWAT team was called Sunday evening to a house on Jacksonville's Southside after a man was reportedly beating his girlfriend, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
Police later identified the man as 55-year-old James K. Fort. He's charged with domestic violence and aggravated assault.
Police were called at 6:15 p.m. Sunday to a home on Thalia Road -- off Beach Boulevard near San Pablo Road -- about a domestic violence situation. When police arrived, no one answered the door.
The couple lives with another couple and their kids. JSO said the roommate and his made it out of the house earlier in the evening. The roommate told JSO the suspect was still in there with his girlfriend and that he would not come out for police at the time.
"After all this he came out peacefully, so that's a win for everybody. His girlfriend came out first, and I guess about an hour later he decided to go ahead and come out after they negotiated with him for a while," said Lt. Jimmy Judge, of JSO. "He's out, he's unharmed. Right now we're in the process of processing the crime scene, the house, and interviewing him and his girlfriend and trying to figure out exactly what's going on."
Five houses nearby were able to return to their homes after being evacuated Sunday evening.
One neighbor who didn't want to be identified witnessed the man being taken into custody.
"I saw the guy when they put him in handcuffs. I saw him walk across. He was literally right in front of me. Scary looking dude," said the neighbor.
"You don't expect it. You really don't. You hear about it all the time in different areas. This is a bit--I've been around here all my life. Never really thought about it happening here," the unidentified neighbor said.
JSO confirmed there were weapons, but were unsure how many there were or what caliber.
"I asked some people, they said it might be some crazy guy with a gun holding someone hostage," said Olga, who lives nearby. "Cops told everybody to get out."
JSO said there were no signs of physical injury to the girlfriend, but she was wrapped in a robe.
"She was somewhat indignant, wasn't very cooperative, but again, we have a witness," said Judge. "When it comes to domestic violence, we don't need the victim to prosecute. If we have what we call probable cause to make the arrest, we make the arrest. We have an arrest warrant for that and he'll be arrested for domestic violence and also aggravated assault, which is a felony."
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