Home News Mother uses 4-month-old as a shield during SWAT standoff in Florida

Mother uses 4-month-old as a shield during SWAT standoff in Florida

Kassie Johnson, Mario Collins, Corderious Wheeler (Escambia County Jail)

Mark Price

The Charlotte Observer

A Florida woman is accused of using her 4-month-old as a shield during a SWAT standoff, according to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

It happened around 3:45 a.m. Monday, March 28, at a HomeStay Lodge on Mobile Highway in Bellview, the sheriff’s office said in a news release. Bellview is just west of Pensacola on the Florida Panhandle.

The standoff began when deputies showed up to arrest suspect Mario Darnell Collins, 34, on charges of robbery with a firearm, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, and battery, officials said.

“A victim reported that Collins forced them at gunpoint into a hotel room where they were robbed and battered by him,” the sheriff’s office said. “The victim reported that other occupants were also present inside the room during the robbery.”

Those occupants included another 34-year-old man, a 19-year-old woman, and “her 4-month-old infant,” investigators said.

“During the standoff deputies observed (the mother) holding her infant and standing behind the front door in an attempt to prevent entry into the room by deputies,” the sheriff’s office said.

“After 30-45 minutes of negotiations, all suspects exited the room and were arrested. The infant was unharmed.”

The mother’s actions led to her being charged with child abuse, domestic violence, and obstruction of justice without violence, officials said.

The other 34-year-old male was also charged with obstruction of justice without violence, officials said.

Investigators did not report where the infant was taken after the incident.

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