Holding a Woman and Children Hostage, Police Arrest Sarasota Man

SARASOTA, Fl. – On Wednesday, September 9, 2020, Sarasota Police arrested Sheldon Howard, 31, of Sarasota, for Aggravated Assault with a Weapon, Kidnapping, False Imprisonment, and Domestic Battery.

At approximately 4:30 p.m., Sarasota Police officers responded to the 1700 block of 35th Street, Sarasota, for a family disturbance with possible hostages.  When officers arrived, Department of Children and Families (DCF) Child Protection Investigators advised Sarasota Police officers that Mr.

Sheldon Howard, 31

Howard was holding an adult woman and two small children, ages 3 and 10 days old, hostage at knife point.  The woman inside was identified as the mother of both children.

Officers made contact and spoke with the woman and asked her to leave the home.  She was able to safely walk out but the children were still inside. 

The woman told officers she and Howard had an argument the night before.  The woman said Howard entered the home Wednesday through an open window and threatened to kill her and the children.

Howard refused requests from officers to leave the home.  Officers spoke with Howard on the phone and he walked out with the 10-day-old infant in his arms. 

Several moments later, Howard let both children leave the home but stayed inside, refusing to come out.  The children were unharmed.  The mother of the children had visible injuries which were assessed by paramedics on scene.

For nearly 90 minutes, Sarasota Police officers spoke with Mr. Howard and worked diligently to deescalate the situation.  Mr. Howard agreed to come out peacefully and he was taken into custody without incident.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Detective Kim Laster at 941-263-6827 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com

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