Local News

Woman hospitalized after hostage situation

Posted January 13, 2008 6:11 p.m. EST
Updated April 29, 2008 8:09 p.m. EDT

— A woman was in the hospital after a dangerous standoff in Chatham County Sunday.

At 12:06 a.m., deputies were called to 2593 Pea Ridge Road, near Beaver Creek Road, where they had been told a possible hostage situation was developing.

Deputies said that when they arrived, however, the man and woman for whom they were looking were gone.

"The deputies stayed hot on it all last night. The deputies got a call on it early this morning," Sheriff Richard Webster said Sunday.

A 11:15 a.m., a phone call pointed deputies to a car in a field, beyond some woods, south of New Elam Church. Inside the car sat William Preston Phillips, 36, and a woman with whom he was apparently in a relationship.

Webster said Phillips was refusing to let the woman go. Camouflaged, armed police officers surrounded the vehicle. Negotiators said Phillips claimed dynamite was inside the vehicle.

"We were very careful not to get but so close, and when we arrested him, we had to get him away from the car," Webster said.

Tracie Hutchens was attending a church party nearby and heard about the hostage standoff.

"Everybody inside [the church] is still curious as to what was going on in the woods out there," Hutchens said.

Webster said Phillips finally let the woman go at about 1:30 p.m. Deputies said she had been cut several times, and she was flown to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill for surgery.

"It appears the injuries were caused by some sort of knife," Webster said.

Phillips gave himself up at 2:47 p.m. Sunday. He had multiple injuries that were possibly self-inflicted, Webster said. He also was transported to UNC Hospitals.

Phillips was later charged with assault with a deadly weapon. Authorities did not release the name or condition of the woman.