The Aurora, Colorado, SWAT team walked away from what was described as a “felony child abuse investigation” with a suspect after a standoff that lasted four hours.
That suspect, Eric Burns, 39, “had a valid misdemeanor no bond DV (domestic violence) warrant out of Denver” out on him, according to authorities. Additionally, the Aurora Police Department believed Burns had assaulted his son and abused his daughter.
The SWAT team, negotiators and command officers surrounded Burns in his house.
After several hours Burns released his 6-year-old daughter. Negotiators tried to convince Burns to turn himself in but when that didn’t happen, there was a “decision made to vacate.”
The officers packed up and left the scene, leaving Burns inside his home.
“We were pretty shocked,” said neighbor Jasmine Staats. “We thought for sure they would have arrested someone. It’s quite concerning they would do that.”
“If someone’s got a warrant out for their arrest, why wouldn’t they have been arrested?” asked Staats.
It has since been learned that Burns was also wanted for felony kidnapping in another Colorado jurisdiction, although the APD didn’t know about that warrant at the time of the standoff.
“Members of our community and across the nation have made it very clear that they want their police department to respond differently to some incidents, particularly when there is a possibility of using serious force against a subject,” a statement by the department reads.
“Avoiding unnecessary confrontations was now a top priority for the department. Sometimes this means walking away from a situation and utilizing investigative resources to apprehend persons at a later time,” said the APD statement.
Authorities have been unable to locate Burns since.