Waterford standoff witness describes experience

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Updated: 9/02 10:53 pm

WATERFORD, N.Y. – The man who said he helped protect a young victim during a 10-hour standoff described his experience.

Keith Francis lives on the first floor in a Grace Street apartment in Waterford. His building was the scene of a ten-hour standoff Monday night.

Francis said he was watching baseball when the little girl who lived upstairs came storming in begging for help.

“She was screaming her head off the entire time,” he said. “[She] asked me to call police because her daddy was hurting her mommy.”

Francis said she, too, had been hurt.

“She got swung by her arm into the fan she said,” Francis described. “And that’s pretty much what happened to her. And she said she punched her dad in the back, so she could get free, and then she ran into here.”

Police confronted the suspect 36-year-old Rashann Hunt, when they arrived to the scene. Police said Hunt confronted them with a handgun.

One officer jumped off a balcony and broke his arm. Francis said he then looked up from his porch and saw into the barrel of the gun.

“He proceeded to point the gun down through the cracks of the stairs right here,” he said.

Members of the New York State Police told Francis to stay inside. Francis and the little girl hid for hours while police evacuated neighbors and negotiated with Hunt. Francis said an armored vehicle rescued him and the girl.

Francis said he consoled the little girl even when he had his doubts that they would get out.

“I thought that he might have shot through the floor, heard us running through the house to get away from the banging,” he said. “Because these walls are very thin, so he could have easily come right upstairs with a bullet.”

Neighbors along Grace Street were shaken up by the ordeal, but most have returned home.

Hunt is in Saratoga County Jail on $50,000 bail.

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