Madrid hostage crisis: Two year-old released after man holds child for four hours in nursery

Local reports say the man was allegedly holding a box-cutter

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The Independent Online

A man has been detained by Spanish police after reportedly entering a nursery in Madrid and holding a two-year-old child hostage for over four hours.

Police in the town of Colmenar del Arroyo were called after a local resident entered the nursery while allegedly wielding a box-cutter and took several people hostage.

They were later released but the man continued to hold the toddler, ABC Madrid reports. He has been identified only by his initials, ABS.

A police cordon was placed around the perimeter of the nursery while agents worked to negotiate the child’s release. The Associated Press reports that he gave up about five hours after the hostage situation began and was taken into custody.

The child was unharmed.

The town lies west of Madrid and has just 1,500 inhabitants. Neighbours told ABC the man owned a local restaurant and had always appeared to be "a very normal person".