UPDATE: Couple arrested after 7-hour SWAT standoff appears in co - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Couple arrested after 7-hour SWAT standoff appears in court

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Photo courtesy of the Bradley Co. Sheriff's Office Photo courtesy of the Bradley Co. Sheriff's Office
CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB) -

 

UPDATE: The couple in the middle of a seven hour standoff made their first court appearance Wednesday. 

Thirty-eight-year-old Mark Cain is charged with two counts of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated burglary, and theft over $1,000. 

His girlfriend, 32-year-old Andrea Pridgen, is also charged with her connection to the stolen vehicle, that led to the standoff. 

Years ago neighbors in the Royal Oaks subdvision exchanged garage door openers so they could check on each other in an emergency. That came in handy on Tuesday, as police used that device to get closer to the suspects and ultimately end the seven hour standoff. 

A sheriff's patrol car parked in the driveway, shattered windows and broken blinds; these are the painful reminders of what happened inside a Bradley County home on Tuesday.

"It looked like a tornado hit the living room. Everything turned upside down, books and paper scattered everywhere. One of the detectives told me the whole house looks that way," said Herb Stafford who has lived here for 25 years. 

Hearing what his neighbor went through is heartbreaking. He said she has cancer and is currently going through chemo. "She went to the bedroom and locked to the door," Stafford said. "Next thing she knew she heard glass breaking. He kicked the window out in the front and went in the house." 

Kimberly Roberts is a stay at home mom who lives in the area. She was listening to the situation unfold over police scanners. 

"I couldn't imagine the fear that she was experiencing. Being home by herself. Being an elderly woman, with health issues, I couldn't image the fear that she had," said Roberts. 

The homeowner called police about a suspicious vehicle in her neighborhood. When police approached the vehicle the two people inside took off, forcing their way inside the home.

The homeowner stayed on the phone until she climbed out the back window. It was another five hours until police got the duo out of the house. 

"Once he got outside with his wife, they tackled him, got the gun away from him. I know his boots were laying in the yard for a couple of hours when I got home," said Stafford. 

The homeowner is okay and is staying with family Wednesday evening. Bradley County officials tell Channel 3, the damage inside the home is over $30,000.  


PREVIOUS UPDATE: A couple was taken into custody Tuesday evening after a 7-hour long SWAT standoff in Bradley County.

Mark Clayton Cain and Andrea Pridgen will both face charges. 

The standoff began around 9:30 Tuesday morning following a traffic stop. When police approached the vehicle, the driver pulled a gun and held it to his girlfriend's head.

The two then fled and forced themselves into a home in the Royal Oaks subdivision. The woman who owns the house was home at the time. She barricaded herself in a back room; a short time later, the SWAT team was able to rescue her.

Sheriff Eric Watson is glad things ended the way they did.

“All the credit goes to the citizens of this neighborhood for protecting their neighbor. I am grateful we are not working a homicide today. It could easily been three deaths, it could have one of our officers hurt. Our SWAT team did awesome, Bradley County officers did awesome, Bradley fire and EMS did awesome. Department of Homeland Security assisted. Everybody pulled it together, we have a victory today because two people are going to jail,” said the sheriff.

No shots were fired; the SWAT team used tear gas to get the suspect out.

Cain is charged with two counts of Aggravated Kidnapping, Aggravated Burglary, Theft over $1,000 (Possession of Stolen Property) and Fugitive from Justice.

Pridgen is charged with Theft over $1,000 (Possession of Stolen Property).

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this story.   


PREVIOUS UPDATE: The Cleveland SWAT standoff is over.

The suspect is now in custody, and the hostage is safe.

The hostage has also been detained.

Sheriff Watson will hold a press conference at 5:00 pm.


PREVIOUS STORY:  The SWAT team is commanding the male suspect to exit the house.


PREVIOUS STORY: Royal Oaks subdivision residents are being asked by the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency to contact schools about picking up their children.

The Bradley County School System will be holding students who live in the subdivision at their respective schools until parents make arrangements to pick them up.

Staff will remain at the school with the students. 

Parents should call the schools for more information.



PREVIOUS STORY: The Bradley County Sheriff's Office is on the scene where two people are barricaded inside a house in the Rolling Oaks subdivision.

According to Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson, dispatch received a call Tuesday morning about a suspicious vehicle. 

Watson says that the vehicle was stolen from Georgia.

When officers approached the vehicle, the driver put a gun to the woman's head, who was seated on the passenger's side.

The driver then took the woman and forcibly entered a nearby home.

The SWAT team was brought in.

The elderly woman who owns the house was home. She barricaded herself in a back room, and the SWAT team was able to rescue her.

The suspect and the hostage remain in the house.  

Deputies are in contact with the male suspect.

The man's name is not yet known.  Deputies say that he has been giving them false names over the phone during their contact.

The identity of the hostage is not known.

No shots have been fired, and authorities are working to rescue the hostage.

Deputies have blocked off access to the subdivision.

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