‘Why are you doing this to me?’: How this weekend’s 30-hour hostage standoff unfolded in Liberty Twp.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Liberty Twp. standoff suspect arraigned

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Multiple police agencies with hours of training came to the aid of a 10-year-old boy held hostage in his Liberty Twp. home.

The 30-hour standoff began late Friday night. Donald Tobias Gazaway is accused of pulling a gun at a residence in the 700 block of East Hamilton Place, demanding thousands of dollars from the female resident and then using the boy as a human shield before surrendering Sunday morning.

MORE: $1 million-plus bond for standoff suspect

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said that halfway through the standoff it became apparent the department was not equipped for such a lengthy incident. With SWAT officers tired from standing in frigid conditions, the reinforcements came in the form of Hamilton and West Chester Police.

“We knew we needed help. We asked for relief and, actually, they were calling us,” Jones said. He added that officers from those departments took the place of deputies so they could get some sleep and return Sunday morning.

Several trained deputies and police officers negotiated with Gazaway for hours through a speaker on a cell phone tossed to him, a bullhorn and Gazaway yelling to authorities.

MORE: Suspect in standoff demanded thousands from 10-year-old boy’s mother

“We did not at times think we were going to get a good result …. we thought he wanted us to shoot him,” Jones said.

While the sheriff will not say if that was actually a plan, he did say, “He never gave us a chance. We could not move in, we could not do anything without jeopardizing the child.”

Negotiators did provide food and water to Gazaway and the boy, who were in a vehicle in the garage most of the time.

At times, they could hear the boy cry and saying, “Why are you doing this to me?”

Chief Deputy Anthony Dwyer said the negotiation process was not good, due to the location and Gazaway’s refusal to actually use the cell phone officials provided.

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“At times, he said he was going to give up, then didn’t,” Dwyer said. “That happened several times. Then he would turn the radio on and sit there.”

Waiting out was what worked in the end, officials said.

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