ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — A standoff involving a man who allegedly barricaded himself inside a truck with a 3-year-old boy ended with the child being safely rescued and the man being taken into custody, police said.

The St. Petersburg Police Department responded to a domestic incident at a home in the 1900 block of Norfolk Street North.

“An individual committed aggravated assault and a number of other crimes related to possibly a fiancée or a girlfriend,” Assistant Police Chief Michael Kovacsev said.

Police said the man, identified as Matthew Perkins, abducted his son and fled the scene in his truck.

A sheriff’s office helicopter located the vehicle, which eventually crashed underneath the Interstate 275 overpass on Gandy Boulevard.

Police said Perkins had barricaded himself inside the truck and was sitting in the back seat with the child.

Police initially thought Perkins had a firearm, but he was holding a pair of scissors close to the child’s neck and head, Kovacsev said.

A SWAT team responded and spent four hours trying to negotiate with Perkins. They had to deploy SPOT, the robotic dog to make contact with him.

“We decided to make the decision to extract the child out, and the SWAT team moved in and removed the child safely, and we were able to take Mr. Perkins into custody,” Kovacsev said.

Alex Jandick lives next door to Perkins. He says he watched it all unfold from his home security camera.

“There was a person yelling at another person to leave next door,” Jandick said. “It was pretty shocking.”

Jandick says he’s seen police at his neighbor’s home before.

Perkins was arrested and charged with domestic battery in March 2021. He was released on a surety bond.

“There had been a couple other like small domestic disturbances in the past there, but this one was way, way out of the ballpark,” Jandick said.

Jandick says, as a father of one child and another on the way, his main concern was the boy. He, like many of his neighbors, hopes this is the last time he sees police next door.

“Children are our number one priority,” Jandick said.

Police said Perkins faces a number of charges, including false imprisonment, aggravated
child abuse and aggravated assault.