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Hostages released, suspect taken into custody from Blakeslee standoff

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: Jul 10 2013 12:41:53 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 11 2013 06:52:52 AM CDT

Pocono Hostage Incident

TUNKHANNOCK TWP., Pa. -

A tense standoff led to a hostage situation involving a 6-year-old little girl in Monroe County.

It all started when 911 dispatchers heard a man threatening to shoot a woman, then the call went dead.

Police say this situation could have ended very badly.

Officials say negotiators were able to convince 61-year-old Edward Terantino to release the hostages and come out of his home before SWAT team members went in.

Neighbors say the commotion on Nelson Drive in Tunkhannock Township, Monroe County started early Wednesday morning.

"[At] 7:30 in the morning there was a lot of fighting going on and around 10:30 a police officer came to my front door," said Dane Williams, a neighbor that lives across the street. "Knocked on the door and said everybody has got to get out of the house right now there is a hostage situation.”

“Our 911 dispatchers got a call, a 911 call but with an open line," said Police Chief Harry Lewis, police chief of the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department. "They heard a male threatening to pull the trigger and they also heard a lady screaming, and they heard a baby crying. Then the phone went dead.”

When police arrived they finally made contact with 61-year-old Edward Terantino.

“We knew that he was in there armed with two guns," added Lewis. "He had a 29-year-old stepdaughter in there and she had her 6-year-old daughter in there.”

At first, police say Terantino told them the two hostages were not coming out.

“There were some threats being heard from the outside," said Lewis. "We called our SWAT team in, negotiators, we had the trailer surrounded, a pretty good perimeter.”

Then after some time, and negotiating, the first hostage was freed.

“They got the 6-year-old released, she came out unharmed," said Lewis. "Then another two hours went by and we negotiated the release of the 29-year-old step daughter.
She came out unharmed.”

Five hours after the situation started, Edward Terantino walked out of his home and was arrested by police.

He's facing numerous charges including kidnapping and simple assault.

“We were blessed today because the outcome was very favorable for us," said Lewis. "The people were saved, and he was under arrest.  We like to call that a good day.”

Police say the investigation is still ongoing and more charges may be filed at a later date.