A woman suspected of holding three people hostage inside a nutrition center in Richmond today has been arrested and the alleged hostages have been released without injury, Richmond police Lt. Enos Johnson said.
Police received a 911 disconnect call at 11:19 a.m. from Prime Time Nutrition in the 3900 block of MacDonald Avenue.
When officers arrived, they learned that five female employees had been inside the nutrition center when the suspect walked in, Johnson said.
The employees knew the suspect, a 45-year-old Richmond woman who had received assistance from the center, Johnson said.
When she entered the building, she was allegedly carrying a steel chain with a padlock and made what were interpreted as threats to the employees, he said.
Two of the employees were able to escape, leaving three others inside.
The suspect allegedly held the three women hostage for a little over an hour while hostage negotiators talked to her on her cell phone, Johnson said.
At about 12:25 p.m., she let the three women go and remained inside the building alone.
Negotiators talked with her for another 45 to 50 minutes and eventually convinced her to surrender, Johnson said.
The woman was a client of the nutrition center but apparently didn't feel that she was getting what she deserved, Johnson said.
She was arrested on suspicion of false imprisonment and hostage taking, Johnson said, and has been taken to the police station to be interviewed.