A Harford County man was undergoing a psychiatric evaluation yesterday following a standoff with officers of the county Sheriff's Department at a church in Perryman where the authorities said four young children were being held against their will.
The man was taken into custody without incident at 1:10 a.m. when members of the special response team entered Mount Calvary Baptist Church on Cranberry Road. The children were not injured.
The Harford County Sheriff's Department said charges were pending against a 26-year-old Perryman man. He was sent to Spring Grove Hospital for psychiatric treatment.
Officers said the man had been fasting for two days and reciting Bible scriptures at his girlfriend's home on Perrywood Court. Then about 10 p.m. Saturday he took the four children -- one was his and three were his girlfriend's -- to the church.
The officers said he broke into the church, took the children to the altar and started praying. Authorities were called when he refused to bring the children out. The sheriff's department said he did not respond to phone calls to the church.
The unarmed man and the children were found by the officers in a rear hall of the church. Authorities could not immediately say how old the children were.