A hostage situation in Brooklet ended early Wednesday when deputies used gas to rescue the victim and take the offender into custody.
Anthony Lawrence Laroche Jr., of Beaufort Road in Savannah, was wanted by the United States Marshals Service on charges of aggravated assault, armed robbery and failure to register as a convicted sex offender, said Bulloch County Sheriff Noel Brown.
According to Georgia Bureau of Investigation records found at state.sor.gbi.ga.gov, Laroche, 29, was convicted in March 2010 of child molestation in Chatham County and upon release from incarceration in 2014 listed with the state sex offender registry. Mandates of the registry require sex offenders to notify law enforcement when they move or change employment.
Bulloch County sheriff’s deputies met with Brooklet police officers at a Brown Street home in Brooklet, where they were tipped off about Laroche’s presence.
When Laroche became aware of their presence, he “fled into a back bedroom of a mobile home and barricaded himself along with a female subject,” Brown said.
He didn’t identify the woman but said she was an “acquaintance” of Laroche.
Soon, deputies realized the woman was being held against her will, he said.
The Bulloch County sheriff’s Tactical and Control Team, or TAC, and a hostage negotiator also responded to the scene, along with Brooklet Fire Department personnel and Bulloch County K9 teams, but negotiations with Laroche to give himself up were futile, Brown said.
“When negotiations failed, it was determined that the female hostage was possibly in need of medical attention,” he said.
They realized she possibly had been affected by pepper spray that was used when deputies first tried to apprehend Laroche. Deputies asked to get the woman to safety so she could be treated by EMS, but Laroche refused, he said.
Then, TAC members deployed what Brown called “less than lethal weapons,” or a C.S. gas canister used to allow deputies to gain entry. Laroche surrendered soon afterward.
Bulloch County EMS responded and treated both Laroche and the female victim at the scene. Laroche was taken to East Georgia Regional Medical Center for treatment of minor wounds to his hand and was turned over afterward to the U.S. Marshals Service.
“Neither was critically injured,” Brown said.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.