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Police rescue Hungry Howie’s worker, charge man in hostage situation in Altamonte Springs

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. — A standoff and hostage situation that lasted more than eight hours at a pizza shop in Altamonte Springs has been resolved, police said.

The ordeal began after a man took an employee hostage inside a Hungry Howie’s restaurant late Monday afternoon.

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Officers responded to the business along State Road 434 near State Road 436 around 5:20 p.m. after receiving a call from the barricaded man’s wife, who told police her husband had made suicidal threats and was at the restaurant.

Witnesses told police the man was seen with what appeared to be a gun.

The suspect made several threats to do harm to employees before taking one of them hostage, police said.

Police evacuated surrounding businesses and asked people to avoid the area.

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The Seminole County Sheriff’s SWAT Team and hostage negotiators responded to assist Altamonte Springs police.

Around 1 a.m. Tuesday, SWAT members used flash bangs in an effort to stun the suspect inside Hungry Howie’s and make their way into the store.

They successfully took the suspect, identified as Neal Pittard, 49, into custody and rescued the victim, who was not hurt, according to police.

Pittard is charged with false imprisonment, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and battery, police said.

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Mike Bridges, who owns the printing shop next door, witnessed the ordeal.

“It was crazy because there was so many police. They really flooded the place,” Bridges said.

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See a map of the scene below:

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