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Police Arrest Man for Taking Two Nurses Hostage

Pine Bluff Police say 27-year-old William Brown is in jail after taking two nurses hostage shortly after 12:30pm Thursday.
PINE BLUFF, AR - Pine Bluff Police say 27-year-old William Brown is in jail after taking two nurses hostage around 12:30pm Thursday.

Police say Brown is a mental patient at the Jefferson Comprehensive Care Center at 1101 Tennessee Street, and came in with what appeared to be a .38 revolver, claiming to have bombs. Police say Brown took two nurses hostage, Phyllis Martin, who was beaten badly, and Karen McPherson. Det. Lt. Denise Richardson says Brown cut McPherson's long hair off. "They've both been through a traumatic experience, but it ended well. The suspect is safe, the victims are safe, our officers are safe, and the facility is safe." Martin was taken to the Jefferson County Regional Medical Center with what police believe are non-life threatening injuries.

Sometime before 2pm, SWAT team members took Brown into police custody. Det. Lt. Richardson says police were able to handle the situation so quickly because the police department is only 2 blocks away from the care center. "Usually hostage situations can go bad very quickly, but this was one of those times when officers were able to respond quickly."

Police don't have a motive for why Brown took the nurses hostage, but detectives say he knew the care center and staff well. Police say his gun turned out to be a toy, and the materials he claimed to be bombs ended up being some sort of dough substance. 

According to the Jefferson County jail's website, Brown is charged two counts each of first degree false imprisonment, second degree battery, and first degree terroristic threatening. He's also charged with trying to escape from officers.

The Jefferson Comprehensive Care Center will be back open Friday morning.
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