A Hardwick man who held a child hostage last week was taken into custody without incident after an hours-long standoff.

Hardwick Police Department, around 5 p.m. on Monday, May 27, responded to a report of a domestic dispute at a Route 16 home. Police say Kelly Howard, 34, had assaulted a resident there.

According to police, after they spoke with Howard, he refused to exit the home and barricaded himself inside with a small child, brandishing a firearm.

The Vermont State Police sent its tactical services unit and hostage negotiators to the scene to assist with the situation.

After a standoff that lasted several hours, Howard was taken into custody without incident, police say. Caledonia Superior Court judge Robert Bent ordered Howard held on a charge of domestic assault. Howard was transported to Northeast Correctional Center. He pleaded not guilty to the charge Tuesday and was released on conditions.

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