'I don't want to see a child get hurt:' 911 call documents tense hostage situation

Authorities investigating the scene. (Source: Live 5 News)
Authorities investigating the scene. (Source: Live 5 News)

DORCHESTER COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A caller described unfolding events he witnessed in Dorchester County Sunday night involving a couple and a 5-year-old girl.

It happened Sunday night when deputies responded to the Pilot gas station on Charleston Highway for a report of a domestic situation.

"There's a man and a woman, and it looks like they're having a dispute," said a caller speaking to a 911 operator. "The man is trying to steal the child."

The Dorchester County Sheriff's Office has identified the man as 32-year-old Reinaldo Rivera of New Jersey.

The caller who witnessed the initial incident said he was a tourist on his way back to Florida and stopped to pick up ice cream when he saw the crisis begin.

At one point, the caller reported that the man was standing in the road with the 5-year-old girl in his arms as the woman tried to get the child back.

"There's something going on there," the caller told the operator. "Like I said, I don't want to see a child get hurt."

Deputies arrive at gas station

At 11:58 p.m., a deputy responded to the gas station after receiving information from dispatchers of an incident involving a man and woman with a child at the parking lot.

A report states the woman went into the store and told an employee that the man had a gun on him and was threatening her and the child.

When the responding deputy and another officer arrived they reported seeing a man in a silver Jaguar.

The deputy reported that when the man saw the deputies, he shoved a bystander out of the way and slammed the door of the car closed.

Authorities say the child was still in the vehicle at that time.

According to the sheriff's office, the man grabbed the juvenile from the backseat and placed her in his lap, and began yelling at the deputies.

The responding deputy said the man refused to show his hands and was seen reaching behind him while he was given verbal commands by deputies to show his hands.

The sheriff's office says due to the uncertainty of the suspect possibly having a gun, the deputies retreated to cover behind some cars in the parking lot.

Authorities say there were several attempts to speak to the suspect but they were not successful.

"The suspect would open his door slightly yelling at us before quickly slamming the door shut again," a deputy's report stated.

Negotiator, SWAT arrive on scene

DCSO officials say a negotiator and SWAT responded to the scene to assist in the situation.

According to the sheriff's office, while a hostage negotiator distracted the child's father, the SWAT team made its move, breaking out one of the vehicle's windows and pulling the child out unharmed.

Investigators say the man was taken to the hospital after he shot himself in the head.

At last check, he was still hospitalized.

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