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Warren man faces kidnapping charges after standoff

Threatened to burn down home with children inside

WARREN — A 41-year-old Warren man was arraigned on four counts of kidnapping Monday after city police and a special response unit were called about 8 p.m. Sunday to a home in the 400 block of Arnold Drive SW on reports of a man threatening people.

Joseph Winkfield III of Arnold Drive pleaded not guilty to four counts of kidnapping before Warren Municipal Court Judge Thomas Gysegem. The judge set Winkfield’s bond at $250,000 and ordered him not to have contact with the victims. A preliminary hearing is set for next Monday afternoon before Judge Terry Ivanchak.

Police received a 911 call stating a man who was drinking all day was holding his four children at knifepoint with a can of gasoline nearby. A 911 report said the man was making threats to burn down the house with the children inside.

Officers arriving were told of a fight between the man and his 11-year-old daughter, whom he had punched in the face. The report states officers heard a man inside screaming and ranting while multiple children were crying. Police set up a perimeter at the rear door and began to relay information about the man’s movements and any weapons at hand, the report states.

Officers called the fire department to shut off natural gas service to the home after the man turned on the gas stove. Because of the open flame and the gas can, officers took special precautions, the report states.

The man reportedly told police: “I got four kids in here. You come up in here, it’s going to be a bloody mess. Good luck, (expletive).”

The standoff continued and the Mahoning Valley crime response team was called. At one point, officers heard glass breaking. And later, the man shouted at officers, “Kill me, kill me, they don’t need to see this, but they need to see this,” referring to the children.

After coordinating with the task force and negotiators, the man eventually allowed the four children out of the home about 8:45 p.m., according to the 911 report.

About five minutes later, the man stepped out the back door of the home but refused police commands to get on the ground, the report states. He subsequently was subdued by a Taser and handcuffed.

A large knife was recovered by a police officer from the living room. According to the report, the knife had to be pulled from an already smashed television that was laying on the floor.

The condition of the residence was in disarray, the report states, with many items smashed, broken or overturned. The walls had knife marks and gouges, the report states.

Before being booked into the jail about 5:30 a.m. Monday, Winkfield was taken to St. Joseph Warren Hospital for an evaluation. The children, all girls ages 6, 8, 9 and 11, were tended to by emergency medical technicians at the scene but were not hospitalized.

Police blocked off roadways in the area. Assisting the SWAT team were Howland, Austintown and Warren Township police, along with the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office.

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