By Al Novack, Steve Beck, Dray Clark
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Three suspects are in police custody after holding three family members, including a young girl, hostage during a robbery attempt at a West Philadelphia take-out store.
The incident began at about midnight at the Hong Heng Take-Out store located at 42nd and Ogden Streets.
Investigators say a passerby noticed three suspicious men, all wearing hoodies, follow the store owner into a side door. The witness then notified a police officer who was in the area.
When police arrived, the metal security gates outside the restaurant were pulled down. However, officers were able to hear females crying and screaming from inside the business.
Officers were able to see through a crack of the metal gate and saw the suspects inside of the restaurant.
The officers backed off and the SWAT Team was called in to assist in the standoff.
“We were able to get in contact using a phone with one of the suspects who admitted he was inside there committing a robbery,” Chief Inspector Scott Small explained.
After several hours of negotiating, the suspects initially released the hostages and then surrendered to police.
The hostages were a family of three – a 49-year-old man, his 49-year-old wife and their 11-year-old daughter. The male, who is the owner of the store, was pistol-whipped in the head and was treated at the scene.
The three suspects remain in police custody. The incident remains under police investigation.