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Suspect held after chase, fiery crash and hostage situation

Suspect held after chase, fiery crash and hostage situation

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A police chase Tuesday on Route 438 in Collins resulted in a fiery crash that turned into hostage situation before it was defused by State Police, a spokesman for the agency confirmed Wednesday.

Trooper James O'Callahan, a public information officer out of Troop A in Batavia, said a suspect was taken into custody after the three-hour standoff, but he declined to release the identity of the suspect because, O'Callahan said, the suspect had not yet been arrested and charged by State Police.

Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt did not return a phone call to The Buffalo News on Wednesday.

O'Callahan said the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office had a warrant for the suspect's arrest when a state trooper initiated a traffic stop on Route 438 in which the suspect was identified as wanted by law enforcement.

O'Callahan said the suspect fled from the scene but, after a brief chase, the vehicle he was driving slammed into another vehicle and caught on fire.

O'Callahan said the suspect eventually got out of the car and took his female passenger hostage, dragging her into a wooded area near Versailles Plank Road, where he kept law enforcement officers from multiple agencies at bay for more than three hours. O'Callahan said the suspect was armed with a handgun and a knife.

Police negotiators eventually talked the suspect into releasing his hostage and giving up his weapons.

The suspect is being held at the Chautauqua County Jail.

The Buffalo News: Good Morning, Buffalo

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