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W.Va. man charged with kidnapping, domestic battery after standoff

September 10, 2010

INWOOD, W.Va. -- Crisis negotiators helped end a two-hour standoff during which a man wouldn't let his girlfriend leave their home Thursday, police said.

The Berkeley County Sheriff's Department said in a news release that Charles Kipps III, 34, was with his girlfriend, Melanie Merson, at 60 Hidden Acres in Inwood, where they live, when police arrived at about 3:20 p.m.

Deputies found that Kipps was intoxicated and wouldn't let Merson leave, police said.

The sheriff's department's Special Response Team and crisis negotiators from Martinsburg Police and West Virginia State Police responded.

It took about two hours of talking with Kipps before he allowed Merson to leave, police said.

Then, Kipps surrendered.

He was charged with one count each of domestic battery and kidnapping and taken to Eastern Regional Jail.

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