Jack Copeland, Clint McCullough and Guy Roberts were preparing for lunch Wednesday when they noticed a commotion in nearby Riverbrooke subdivision.
“We just saw all the cops coming in and the SWAT team, so we came out here to the fence and saw what was going on," Copeland said.
What was going on, the men learned, was a standoff situation in a home on Red Cedar Trail. The three watched the situation unfold from the side of
Sweet Stables Boarding, which backs up to the neighborhood in south Forsyth.
The standoff ended after about two hours when the Forsyth County Sheriff's SWAT team took a 26-year-old suspect into custody.
Authorities said the man, with whom they had been negotiating, had a knife and had barricaded himself inside a walk-in closet of the home.
Sheriff’s Lt. Col. Gene Moss said Kevin Justin Edwards has been charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault and false imprisonment, all of which are felonies.
Edwards did not live at the house, authorities said, but was an acquaintance of the woman who does and had been staying there for a few days.
The situation began about 2 p.m. Moss said Edwards and the woman, whose identity has not been released, got into a fight and he tied her up.
“She got away, he tied her up again and it spilled out into the front of the house,” Moss said.
Edwards attempted to put the woman in a vehicle, but she was able to elude him again and run back inside the house.
Moss said Edwards confined the woman to a walk-in closet and was threatening to harm her and to take his own life.
“She got out and he remained barricaded in,” Moss said. “Our SWAT team had him contained in the closet so he couldn’t get out.”
Moss said Edwards had claimed to have a gun, but did not. He eventually opened the closet door and was taken into custody.
Forsyth County Schools spokewoman Jennifer Caracciolo said buses departing from nearby Settles Bridge Elementary School were delayed as a result of the situation.
Students who live in Riverbrooke, which is off James Burgess Road, were being kept on their respective school campuses.
She said 40 elementary, 25 middle and 10 high school students had to remain at school Wednesday afternoon as a result of the situation.
District officials asked parents to pick their children up as soon as they could leave the neighborhood, where the street had been blocked off.