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Police identify man accused of holding 6 hostage in East Price Hill

Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 3:40 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 5, 2021 at 8:03 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A man is in custody after holding six people hostage inside an East Price Hill apartment early Thursday, prompting a SWAT team to respond, Cincinnati police say.

Police say George Michael Williams, 36, has been charged with six counts of kidnapping, two counts of felonious assault, one count of aggravated robbery, one count of arson, two counts of rape and weapons under disability.

In court, the judge set his bond at $500,000 on each charge - totaling $7 million.

Court documents say Williams sexually assaulted a woman while he was holding the others against their will.

It all started at an apartment building in the 3000 block of West 8th Street around 1:55 a.m. Thursday.

Police initially responded to a 911 call reporting people in distress inside an apartment.

They realized there were six people being held hostage and Williams was hurting them, according to Assistant Police Chief Mike John.

SWAT was called in and a negotiator tried to coax Williams into releasing the hostages and surrendering without further incident.

They were freed after about an hour.

A man was severely injured with a stab wound to his abdomen and a woman was stabbed in the back of the neck, John said.

Williams started a fire during negotiations with SWAT officers before coming out of the building.

Fire crews were able to put out the blaze in the kitchen on the second floor within minutes.

According to initial reports to police, Williams was armed with a “large gun,” but John said police determined the weapon was not loaded.

Police said they are not releasing any other additional information at this time.

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