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Heroic store employee ends dramatic hostage crisis in Surigao

A man in his 40s took a child hostage at knifepoint in front of a store in Surigao, but the police had a hard time negotiating with him to let the kid go, reports blog site Toongaw.

Despite the presence of the police and several bystanders, the man continued to tightly hold the child on one arm while the other had a knife to her neck. Helpless, all the police could do was wait for the man to change his mind or find the right moment to make their move.

Several men who were in green-and-yellow uniform, believed to be employees of the store, were standing just a few feet away from the hostage taker, reports Toongaw, but these able-bodied men could not endanger the child’s life so they chose to wait for the situation to improve, too.

Matteo Menesis was standing a couple of feet away from the hostage taker, so he was able to get a clear cellphone video of the drama as it unfolds in front of the store. This video was later shared on YouTube on September 11.

It was unclear why the man took the child hostage. Although he was talking, his voice could not be clearly heard on the video.

When the hostage taker was momentarily distracted, a quick-thinking store employee grabbed the chance to jump on the man and pushed the knife away from the child’s neck. Emboldened by this store employee’s actions, the rest of the bystanders immediately took action, joining the first man in the fray as he wrestled the hostage taker.

The next few seconds was a melee of bodies, but a while later, the little girl was seen in the arms of a woman, most likely her mother. Although crying and visibly shaken by her ordeal, the girl looked alright and unharmed.

Police officers broke the scuffle apart, but it took them a couple more seconds to free the hostage taker from the angry mob. The man had some cuts and bruises, says Toongaw, but was otherwise fine. The police handcuffed him and took him to the precinct.

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