WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – There was a large police presence in Warren on Sunday due to a standoff between a man and law enforcement.
Police arrested Joseph Winkfield III on kidnapping charges. A not guilty plea was entered on Winkfield’s behalf on four counts of felony kidnapping.
Austintown, Warren Township and Howland police departments surrounded an apartment complex on the 500 block of Lane Dr. SW, the Highland Terrace apartments. It started around 8 p.m.
Mahoning County Emergency Management, the sheriff’s department and SWAT were also there.
Officers said he wouldn’t let the mom in. On the phone with dispatchers, she told them, “Yes, my kids father, he’s got the kids locked up in the house, he’s threatened to set the house on fire.”
After three hours of negotiations, police said Winkfield surrendered. The kids ranged in age from 6 to 11.
“There was some talk about gasoline in the house and a knife so our main concern was the safety of the children,” said Warren Police Department captain Jeff Cole.
Police had part of the area blocked off to traffic. According to a police report, officers learned Winkfield had been drinking and had a history of mental health concerns. Due to the circumstances, Warren police activated the Mahoning Valley Crisis Response Team.
Neighbor Ta’Jon Williams said this is what he heard.
“They just talking to him I guess and then after a while, he said if his daughter didn’t come he wasn’t letting anyone out. He had four children in there. He let them out when his eldest daughter got here,” Williams said.
“Like I said, I’ve never seen anything like it. There were RV sized trucks all the way down there, had to have been 30 or 40 cruisers of all different sorts,” said Shauna Simonds, who also lives nearby.
Cole said after about three hours, Winkfield asked to see his oldest daughter who had arrived on the scene and Winkfield let his other children go. Police stated they had to use a stun gun because he would not comply with officers’ orders.
“They told him if he came out they weren’t going to harm him or do anything to him and as soon as he came out, they tased him and it was just wild. Just like that,” Williams said.
Police said a large knife was recovered. They said that the knife was stabbed through a television and that Winkfield also stabbed the walls, leaving marks on them.
On Monday, a judge set his bond at $250,000. He’s also ordered not to have contact with his kids or the mother and is not allowed to return back to the apartment. He’s due back in court next week.