08/14/06 — Armed hostage-taking ends in arrest

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Armed hostage-taking ends in arrest

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on August 14, 2006 1:55 PM

A kidnapping and hostage-taking ended peacefully Sunday morning when Wayne County Sheriff Carey Winders and a deputy took a handgun away from a man who had held two women at gunpoint.

Shortly after 8 a.m., deputies were called to 1320 Capps Bridge Road, where Robert Honeycutt, 41, of Wade Stedman Road, was holding two women -- his ex-wife and her sister -- hostage in a vehicle parked behind the home.

Soon after the deputies arrived, Honeycutt released his ex-wife's sister, Gail Dail. But he refused to release his ex-wife, Vickie Honeycutt, and stood outside the vehicle while she remained inside.

Winders then arrived and began to negotiate with Honeycutt. The sheriff talked to Honeycutt for more than an hour and a half. All the while, Honeycutt had the hammer to his 9 mm pistol cocked, Winders said today.

"I had to keep my composure, talking to him for an hour and half. It was a tense situation," he said.

Eventually, Winders convinced Honeycutt to drop his weapon on the ground near his feet, but he still refused to release his ex-wife.

While they talked, Honeycutt told Winders that his father had committed suicide when he was 5 years old.

"You don't know if he's capable of the same thing or he would try a murder-suicide," Winders said.

Winders managed to signal Deputy Steve Howell and together they caught Honeycutt off guard, pinning him against the vehicle. Honeycutt grabbed the pistol back but was unable to get a grip on the trigger before Winders and Howell took it away from him.

"We were wrestling with him and he was trying to reach for that gun. It scared me to death. One of the deputies told me if he would have gotten a good grip on the gun, he would've shot me," Winders said.

Honeycutt, who received minor injuries in the scuffle, was already awaiting trial in Cumberland County on charges of first-degree rape and first degree kidnapping.

He was charged with violation of a domestic violence order, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to kill and two counts of first-degree kidnapping.

He was in the Wayne County Jail today under $200,000 bond.