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Winchester Man Holds Family Hostage

5 June 2018 News


A Winchester man was arrested Thursday night (5/31/18) after holding his family hostage.

This was after Winchester Police officers were dispatched to Joseph Ray Gellner’s Berryville Avenue house around 11:30 p.m. after receiving reports of a possible hostage situation. WPD Communications Project Coordinator Caitlin Squires told The River 95.3 News Department that police had received a call from someone in the area who claimed Gellner told them he’d kill his family if police came to his home.

After a brief standoff, during which police communicated with Gellner using a PA system, he released an adult female victim. Gellner and this victim share four children together; when police entered the residence, they discovered those children inside in unsafe conditions. The victim later reported that Gellner had tied her hands and ankles, destroyed her cell phone when she tried to call for help, and made threats to strangle her and attack her with a knife. He has been charged with assault and battery of a family member, telephone equipment vandalism, kidnapping, and strangulation, and was transported to the Northwest Regional Adult Detention Center.


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