A 13-hour hostage standoff at a Georgia motel ended peacefully Monday when a former South Carolina police officer and a teenage girl surrendered, freeing his estranged wife and infant son.
FBI spokesman Steve Lazarus said 25-year-old David Dietz surrendered around 9:15 a.m. at the Red Roof Inn off Interstate 20 about 60 miles east of Atlanta. Jamie Lynn Burgess, 17, was also taken into custody at the time.
• Metro and state news The two had been holed up in a second floor room with the infant, Allim David Dietz, and Dietz’s estranged wife, 29-year-old Eva Arce-Perez. Two shots were fired at law enforcement agents from the room Sunday night.
The next morning, Dietz stepped onto the walkway outside the motel room holding the baby in his arms as he surrendered. Burgess exited the room with her hands in the air.
Burgess helped Dietz in the kidnapping, West Columbia, S.C., Police Major Jackie Brothers said.
“It’s our understanding they arrived together, they waited together and when the family and friends arrived home, she actively participated in the abduction,” Brothers said.
Police said Burgess and Dietz were acquaintances but wouldn’t elaborate on their relationship.
Burgess was set to return to South Carolina Monday night, where she would be charged with kidnapping, carjacking and assault with intent to kill, Brothers said. She won’t face federal charges because she’s a minor, Lazarus said.
Dietz, who wore a black uniform emblazoned with the word “police” during the abduction, was being held in federal custody in Macon and would face federal charges of kidnapping in South Carolina and federal charges of assaulting a federal officer in Georgia since shots were fired at FBI agents, Lazarus said. He said they hoped to bring Dietz before a federal magistrate on Tuesday.
He also faces state charges including kidnapping, assault with intent to kill and carjacking in South Carolina and five counts of aggravated assault in Georgia, authorities said.
Police said Arce-Perez and the baby were abducted from their home in Columbia, S.C., Saturday evening. A missing child alert was issued, and authorities learned Dietz might be headed toward Atlanta.
The standoff started Sunday night after Georgia State Patrol officers spotted the car mentioned in the alert in the motel parking lot.
It wasn’t the former police officer’s first run-in with the law. South Carolina police reports showed authorities were called twice last year to domestic disturbances between Dietz and Arce-Perez.
Police in West Columbia were called to the home where Arce-Perez lived in December after the woman claimed Dietz threatened her.
“She stated that he called her wanting to see the baby even if he had to kick the door in,” West Columbia chief Dennis Tyndall said.
An incident report filed in May by the Richland County, S.C. Sheriff’s Department says Dietz was arrested for criminal domestic violence after he tried to force then-pregnant Arce-Perez to leave her apartment with him and pointed a gun at her brother, threatening to shoot if he tried to intervene. A judge dismissed charges in that case when Arce-Perez didn’t show up for a hearing, said department spokesman Chris Cowan.
Columbia police spokesman Brick Lewis said Dietz was hired by the department in June 2006 but resigned in October 2006 without giving a reason and on good terms.
Dietz also worked as a probation officer until August 2007, said Pete O’Boyle, a spokesman for the state’s probation department