By Heather Abraham

NORTH SIDE (KDKA) – Police were called to an apartment on Pittsburgh’s North Side Monday morning after a woman sent a text message to her friend saying she was being held against her will.

The messages led police to a home in the 1200-block of James Street near Allegheny General Hospital.

Grady Devon Thomas, 36, surrendered to the SWAT Team around 6 a.m.

According to police, he was holding a woman hostage inside her apartment. The woman texted her friend for help after being unable to escape and call 911.

Police believe the woman had been at a bar with Thomas Sunday night. When police arrived around 3 a.m., the text messages for help continued.

“The third party had received two texts. While we were there, there were approximately three or four more texts that came through, always saying that he was holding her against her will and not letting her leave the residence,” Lt. Christopher Ragland said.

The SWAT Team tried different tactics to get Thomas to surrender, including using a flash bang.

People who live in the area were startled by the bang.

“It was pretty distinct. I thought it was either a gunshot or a flare. I knew what it was as soon as I was awake,” Cheyenne Grimes said.

Thomas is being held at the Allegheny County Jail. He is facing several charges, including unlawful restraint, simple assault, and various gun charges.


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