Man frees Kansas judge after hourslong hostage standoff

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (AP) – Police in western Kansas say a gunman who held Finney County’s chief judge and his wife hostage over a child custody matter eventually surrendered and the two were released unharmed.

Authorities say the standoff began shortly before 7 a.m. Tuesday, when the armed suspect forced his way into 61-year-old Wendell Wurst’s Garden City home and confronted the couple.

Garden City Police Chief Michael Utz says the suspect ordered Wurst to the ground and bound the judge’s hands. Utz says Wurst’s 62-year-old wife was allowed to use the bathroom, where she called police on her cellphone. She was later released.

The standoff ended more than five hours later, at which time Wurst was freed.

Police say the suspect was upset over a custody case Wurst handled.

There was no immediate word about any charges resulting from the incident.


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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