Baby rescued during tense Tarpon Springs SWAT standoff

"Anybody's child you're obviously concerned about because its just a little innocent baby," said neighbor Paula Siekiera.

Siekiera lives two doors down from where an agonizing seven-hour standoff played out early Wednesday morning.

"They're a quiet family, they usually don't have any trouble at all," said Siekiera.

She said her neighbors are known throughout the community for the barbecue grill on their custom-built trailer. It was that trailer police say 27-year-old Hondo Phillips first doused in gasoline before locking himself and his one-year-old son in a rear bedroom of his mother's home.

"What I saw when I came out my door was about nine or ten police cars," said neighbor Harold Joe.

Swat teams were quickly assembled, hostage negotiators sat outside the locked door pleading with the distressed father to hand over his son.

At one point he almost taunted police by holding the crying baby in the window, which only intensified efforts to free the child. According to neighbors, this type of behavior was out of character for a man they say seemed like a loving father.

"I've known them for years, they've always been nice," said Charles Driver who lives across the street. "Every time I see him he's out their playing with his son."

Talks continued until just before daybreak. A swat officer was seen running towards the home, then out of the darkness, another officer exits with the baby boy in his arms.

For Siekiera, this morning's heroic actions by police are something she's come to expect.

"I've never had to see SWAT in here before but Tarpon Springs Police always do an outstanding job keeping us safe," said Siekiera.   

Phillips is in custody. Police say he has an extensive rap sheet which includes burglary and drug possession.

The baby was placed with child protective services.

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