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Six Hour Standoff Ends with Arrest in Hayes Center

DECEMBER 2, 2020 (HAYES CENTER, NEB.)  — Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) have brought a standoff of more than six hours to a safe conclusion in Hayes Center.

The situation began this morning when the Hayes County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a possible kidnapping that had occurred in Lincoln County during the evening hours of Tuesday, December 1. The suspect was believed to be in Hayes Center. NSP was notified just after 6:00 a.m. today and troopers proceeded to the area to assist.

Prior to NSP’s involvement, the victim was safely located, but the suspect, identified as Robert Smith, 44, of Hershey, Nebraska, remained at large. Just after 8:00 a.m., troopers identified the suspect’s believed location to be 315 Hayes Avenue in Hayes Center. The suspect was believed to be armed.

NSP SWAT was activated and responded to the scene. Authorities coordinated with Hayes Center Public Schools to ensure that those at the school were safe, given the location of the situation, approximately three blocks from the school.

After repeated communication with NSP negotiators for hours, Smith voluntarily exited the home at 2:45 p.m. and was taken into custody without incident. Smith was arrested for kidnapping and use of a weapon to commit a felony. He was lodged in Lincoln County Jail.