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Monroe Neighborhood Reacts to Standoff Situation

After an hours-long standoff with police on Monday, a local businessman is in custody.
MONROE -- After an hours-long standoff with police on Monday, a local businessman is in custody.

Dean Hart, Jr., 42, faces kidnapping and sexual assault charges after police say he held his wife hostage over the weekend.

In meeting and talking with many of Hart Jr.'s neighbors, one word seems to pop up often about the incident -- shock.

"You never know about people, things happen," said neighbor Martha McCaskill.

A day after the police standoff, his neighbors are trying to wrap their minds around why something like this would happen in their quiet neighborhood.

Click here for coverage from Monday's standoff with police


"Those things happen to people, it's just life and it's dealing with humanity," said Toni Foss, another neighbor who lives nearby.

The stand-off spanned hours on Monday, through the afternoon and evening, at his home on Oak Alley Boulevard.

Bricklayers Bobby Stewart and Jason Potter have spent a lot of time doing construction work in the neighborhood. They were laying down bricks directly behind the home when the police officers started to move in.

"All of the sudden, we see the SWAT coming around the corner then we knew it had to be serious," said Potter.

"My co-worker's like, 'Something is not right," said Stewart. "A nice neighborhood like this, you wouldn't look at it and think a guy would hold somebody hostage."

It also frightened neighbors nearby like McCaskill, who lives across the street.

"The police, they were very quiet. I didn't know that they were swarming all around me until I was going to my mailbox," she said.

Investigators have since searched the home.

"This incident was concluded with no injuries to anyone. Which is exactly what we train and prepare for. It was a long night, it was a tedious night," said Sgt. Mark Johnson with the Monroe Police Department.

Police said Hart, Jr. and his wife were married since September. Police said there have been no reported incidents between them that would have led to him holding her against her will over the weekend.

Because authorities said she's a victim of sexual assault, we have chosen not to reveal her identity.

"Never would I have ever ever ever thought that it was Dean Hart," said McCaskill. "I would not have ever believed it if someone had of walked in and told me that."

"You never know what people are doing, or who you're living next to, or what's going on in their house," said Potter.

Hart Jr. owned Hart Commercial Investments with his father, Hart, Sr., who was one of four passengers killed in a Richwood plane crash earlier this year.

"[Hart, Jr.] was a fine neighbor, he was quiet. I know he never caused any trouble," said McCaskill. "My heart goes out to that mother, because I have children, four boys."

We reached out to his business office in West Monroe -- but a request for an interview was declined.

Police say an attempted murder charge was dropped when no evidence backed it up.

The next step is a bond hearing that should take place in the next three days, according to police. There is a possibility the new year's holiday could push the bond hearing until Thursday or later.

In the meantime, Hart, Jr. is being held in the Ouachita Correctional Center.

Hart Jr.'s family has declined to comment.
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