AKRON, Ohio (WJW) — Police said the non-custodial father of a 5-year-old boy attacked the boy’s mother and abducted the child during an arranged visit on Sunday, prompting an Amber Alert and later a SWAT standoff.
The abduction was reported at about 4 p.m. on Sunday at a home in the 900 block of Barbara Avenue, where Sean C. Eckel, 31, had arranged to meet with the boy and his mother, according to a Monday news release from city police.
“After the visit, Eckel reportedly threw punches toward her, grabbed the child from the car and fled to a nearby laundry room,” wrote Akron police Capt. Michael Miller.
Investigators learned Eckel was armed with a handgun. Residents reported hearing a gunshot, according to the release.
Officers searched the city for hours, with help from a SWAT team, then later concentrated their search around Wilbeth Arlington Homes, according to the release.
Authorities issued a warrant for Eckel as well as an Amber Alert for the boy just before 11 p.m. on Sunday in several east-central Ohio counties, including Carroll, Coshocton, Guernsey, Holmes, Portage, Stark, Summit, Tuscarawas and Wayne.
New information led investigators to narrow the search to an apartment in the 1300 block of Sylvan Avenue — near the initial abduction report — and surrounded the residence, where they determined Eckel was hiding with the child.
Eckel let the boy go unharmed and he was reunited with his mother just before 11:30 p.m., according to the release. The Amber Alert was canceled soon after.
SWAT officers just before midnight returned to the scene, where Eckel had reportedly barricaded himself in the home. Officers tried to convince him to surrender, but eventually used chemical irritants and went inside. They found him hiding under a pile of clothes and arrested him just before 1 a.m. on Monday.
Eckel is now in the Summit County jail, facing charges of kidnapping, abduction and domestic violence.
His bond was set at $100,000 during his arraignment on Monday morning. The court set a temporary protection order hearing for Tuesday morning.