Hostage situation resolved

Published 6:03 pm Tuesday, August 3, 2021

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POWELLSVILLE – A tragic ending to a hostage situation involving family members was averted here Monday morning after local and state law enforcement agencies used specialized tactics to bring the situation under control.

Gregory Allen Jones, 47, of Jacksonville, a native of the Aulander/Millennium area, was taken into custody following a 10-hour standoff that involved Bertie County Sheriff’s Office personnel and members of the SBI’s SWAT unit.

Jones is jailed under a $200,000 bond on the charges of felony first degree burglary, felony kidnapping, misdemeanor communicating threats, and misdemeanor interfering with emergency communications.

Bertie Sheriff John Holley said a decision was made to bring in the SBI’s SWAT unit after telephone communication between the victim and E-911 Communications was cut off.

“The victim in this case is the estranged wife of the suspect who resides on Dilday Road outside of Powellsville,” Holley said. “She called 911 in reference to someone banging on her door and attempting to break into the house.”

Holley said on the 911 call – which came in at around 10:30 p.m. on Sunday – the woman could be heard screaming that the person had broke in and was demanding she hand over the phone.

“At that time the line went dead,” Holley stated. “At that point we were unaware if she had been harmed or not. When the first deputies arrived at the residence they attempted to get the man to surrender, but he refused to come out of the house. We could hear loud banging from inside the house, which we later learned was him barricading the doors.”

Upon the arrival of the SWAT unit at around 4 a.m. Monday, the Bertie deputies had determined the identity of the male inside the home.

“That was confirmed by checking into a possible criminal record of the victim’s husband. He was on probation in Onslow County and was wearing an ankle monitor. Onslow County Probation was able to track the location of that monitor to the residence on Dilday Road,” said Bertie Chief Deputy Kenny Perry who stated he arrived on the scene around 11:30 p.m. Sunday.

“From that point on it was just a waiting game to try and convince Mr. Jones to peacefully surrender,” Perry added. “That changed when we learned that Mr. Jones was possibly armed and was threatening to commit suicide by cop.”

Holley said the decision was then made to use non-lethal “flash bang” devices in an effort to bring the hostage situation to an end. That led to the rescue of the victim. Jones surrendered a short time later at around 8:30 a.m.

“The key thing here was that no one was injured,” Holley stated.

The Sheriff added that the SBI also deployed the use of robotic devices to help protect lives.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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