SWAT Team Safely Ends Pine Bluff Standoff

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PINE BLUFF, Ark. – A local man is in jail after a police SWAT team safely ends a standoff that had begun after a family disturbance and the kidnapping of a teenaged boy.

The Pine Bluff Police Department (PBPD) says the situation began around 4:45 p.m. Thursday at a home in the 4000 block of Mayberry Street.

Police say Mark Franklin, 33, went to his sister’s home and while there he got into an argument with her that led to a physical fight. Franklin then reportedly pulled a gun and took his 15-year-old nephew, the child of his sister, and left the home. The PBPD then began a manhunt for Franklin and his silver 2004 Ford Mustang.

Franklin later called family from his cell phone, which led officers to 5818 Sulphur Springs Rd., where Franklin was sitting in his car in the driveway.  The PBPD says he had told family he would kill the child if he saw police, so they used unmarked cars and plain clothes officers to set up a perimeter to monitor the situation without alerting Franklin. A police negotiator was brought in but could not get Franklin to talk but he later spoke with a family member who was working with officers to resolve the situation.

By about 10:40 p.m. Franklin released the child to the family member. After the child was safely out of the area, the SWAT Team moved in and took him into custody without anyone being injured. Franklin was taken to the Jefferson County Jail where he will remain until a probable cause hearing is held. He is expected to face multiple felony charges including Kidnapping and two counts of Aggravated Assault on a Family or Household Member. 

The PBPD says Franklin also faces a charge of Possession of a Firearm by Certain Persons since he had previously been convicted of a felony.

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