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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Pearblossom

2 Children Rescued From Hostage Situation

April 28, 1999|ANDREW BLANKSTEIN

A Los Angeles County sheriff's special weapons team used flash-bang grenades Tuesday night to rescue two children held hostage by their armed father in a motor home, authorities said.

The gunman, identified as John Vigil, 30, led authorities on a brief chase that began after deputies received a call at 4:50 p.m. that a man was making threats at the Loma Linda Trailer Park in the 12700 block of Pearblossom Highway, Sheriff's Deputy Carrie Stewart said.

When authorities approached Vigil, he drove off in his motor home with three of his children, leading deputies on a two-mile chase, Stewart said. The pursuit ended around 6:30 p.m. after he rammed a patrol car and barricaded himself inside the vehicle on the highway shoulder, Stewart said.

One girl was released about two hours into the standoff. But after crisis negotiators feared Vigil had either harmed one of the children or was about to harm one of the children, the SWAT team stormed the vehicle.

Vigil was taken into custody without injury. The children were unharmed as well.

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