Corrections officer accused of downloading child porn holds young child hostage

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ORANGE CITY, Fla. - Investigators said a corrections officer briefly held one of his own children hostage with a gun after detectives showed up at his Orange City home to serve a warrant on child porn charges.

In the end, 32-year-old Mark Pronovost, who was a Volusia County corrections officer for 11 years, surrendered peacefully.

Deputies showed up to Pronovost's Orange Avenue home about 8:30 a.m. to serve the search warrant, which was based on information that child pornography was being downloaded and distributed from the location, according to Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Authorities had been looking into activities at the home for over a year, Channel 9 learned.

Pronovost was at the home with his three children and became uncooperative, taking the youngest child, a toddler, and barricading the two in a room with a gun, officers said.

Agents were eventually able to convince Pronovost to release the child and were then able to get him to come out.

"You never know," said neighbor Todd James. "You know, this seems like a nice neighborhood. You wouldn't expect something like that to be here."

FDLE said investigators will take computers Pronovost had in the home as evidence.

Agents said because Pronovost is a corrections officer, for his own safety, they do not want him being held in the Volusia County Jail, so special arrangements are being made.

"Anytime you have a situation like that, that only makes the entire situation worse," said special agent Tony Rodriguez.

Pronovost is being charged with two counts of possession of child pornography, but he could face more charges, authorities said.