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Baby OK After Being Held Hostage In Weld County

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Copter4 image of the standoff (credit: CBS)

Copter4 image of the standoff (credit: CBS)

LA SALLE, Colo. (CBS4) – A 6-month-old girl is safe after she was held hostage Friday morning in Weld County.

The incident started with a domestic dispute involving the child’s mother. Police surrounded a home in the 200 block of Ley Street in La Salle at about 3 a.m.

Police say the man who lives there — Gabriel Esparza, 44, — assaulted his 19-year-old girlfriend.

gabriel esparza Baby OK After Being Held Hostage In Weld County

Gabriel Esparza (credit: Weld Co. Sheriff's Office)

She escaped but apparently left behind the couple’s child.

When police went to check on the situation and couldn’t find the suspect that’s when the SWAT team was called in.

SWAT team members apparently made several attempts to get in touch with the Esparza but they never did, and with a baby inside and alcohol believed to be involved, they knew they had to act.

At about 8 a.m. they went in and rescued the child, but Esparza wasnt there.

The sheriff’s department says he was actually spotted several blocks away by an alert citizen and arrested behind a liquor store.

Esparza is now jail and faces charges of assault, a restraining order violation and possible charges of child abuse.

Both the mother and the baby are doing okay.

Seven homes in the neighborhood were evacuated until police caught the man they were looking for.

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