TOMBALL, Tx. - A father`s distraught reaction to his son`s medical condition set in motion a tense situation Saturday night.
At 7pm, the Harris County Sheriff`s Office was contacted to meet with Tomball Police, regarding a possible hostage situation at Tomball Regional Medical Center.
Lt. Joe Ambriz with HCSO informed those on the scene, 'We learned that there was a male inside of a room, and a patient. And there was some concern over the patient. And there was some threatening gestures or comments made. And so we evacuated, restricted the floor.”
Early reports suggested the man might be armed, and the Harris County High Risk Operation unit was called in to negotiate. Unsubstantiated rumors on social media began to swirl, as people with loved ones inside the locked down hospital, were understandably concerned for their safety.
Ryan Smith’s family was inside the hospital at the time. He shared, ”Well my grandmother is actually in the hospital, she was actually on the floor I guess that it`s happening… as long as she makes it out safe and everything`s ok, cause my aunts also in there too with her, they said no one can leave and nobody can go in.”
“Our high risk operations unit arrived to the scene, secured the scene, the hospital was safe. Patients were adjusted so that they were not in harms way. We then conducted some negotiations with the male subject that was inside a patient`s room… He surrendered without further incident, and when he was taken into custody it was discovered that he was not armed, although it is still an investigation going on,” Lt. Ambriz said in a statement after the situation had concluded.
So when all is said and done, it was not a hostage situation. It was a distressed father who refused orders by both the hospital and police to leave the hospital room. Procedures were followed, and as always, it is better to be safe than sorry.
“It`s always a relief when we can take the individual into custody without any further actions,” Lt. Ambriz said.
No further information is available regarding the condition of the patient, and at this point it is still unclear if charges will be filed against the father. Operations at Tomball Regional Medical Center are back to normal.