A weekend call of an assault in Newton led police to a suspect who eventually took a hostage at the Chisholm Trail Shopping Center, police said.
Newton Police Chief Eric Murphy said in an email that a man named Ronnie Hill, 53, was taken into custody Saturday afternoon after a “short struggle” near the outlet mall north of Wichita.
According to Murphy, officers were dispatched to a car dealership in Newton on Saturday after a report of an assault. The officers later learned that a suspect had physically assaulted a female employee at the dealership, though she was able to escape and call 911 away from the business.
Officers learned that the suspect, later identified as Hill, took a vehicle from the dealership. The stolen car was later located at the shopping center.
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As police converged on the suspect, Murphy said, he took a woman hostage from one of the mall’s businesses and fled to a bathroom, where he held her as a “shield.”
Murphy said officers were able to negotiate with the suspect and that he was taken into custody after a brief struggle. A Harvey County Sheriff’s Office official confirmed Monday morning that Hill was booked into the Harvey County Jail on Saturday.