Lynchburg, VA - A Lynchburg man is in custody after a standoff in Wyndhurst Tuesday morning that forced several people out of their homes.
22-year-old Matthew Pearson is charged with brandishing a firearm, domestic assault and battery, and two counts of abduction.
It all started around 7:00 a.m., when Pearson's girlfriend called 911 saying she had been assaulted. When police arrived and couldn't reach her, they called for backup.
For Deb Tenny, the chaos started first thing in the morning.
"We were sitting at the kitchen table reading and we heard some commotion outside," said Tenny.
Dozens of police officers, some with rifles and SWAT gear, were surrounding the house across the street. Police say they got a call about domestic violence to 114 Wyndview Drive, and the drama began to unfold.
"Once PD arrived on scene, they were unable to get anyone to come to the door, which raised our concern and caused us to call upon additional resources," said Detective Glenn Anderson.
Detectives say Matthew Pearson was holding his girlfriend and her friend hostage and threatened them with a gun. While crisis negotiators tried to convince him to surrender, police told some neighbors to evacuate, others to stay indoors.
"Hopefully everything will be resolved and everybody will be fine," said Tenny.
Five hours later, police escorted both hostages out, in handcuffs, as a precaution, along with the suspect's father they say had been asleep upstairs. Pearson and his girlfriend were both arrested, she was wanted for an unrelated theft charge. Neighbors were relieved the tension was over.
"My thoughts are, what a way to start a New Year's Day," said Tenny.
They just hope it isn't an indication of what to expect this coming year.
Pearson is being held at the Lynchburg Regional Jail without bond.
His girlfriend was wanted for grand larceny and obtaining money by false pretense.