Amber Alert suspect arrested while hiding under clothes pile


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Sean Eckel
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A man who police say was responsible for Sunday’s Amber Alert in the Akron area has been arrested.

The events began around 4:00 p.m. when the woman brought her son to a residence on Barbara Avenue for a pre-arranged visit with the child’s father, identified as 31-year-old Sean Eckel. Post-visit, tensions escalated, and Eckel allegedly assaulted the mother, grabbing the child and retreating to a nearby laundry room. Initial reports indicated that Eckel was armed with a handgun, with residents in the vicinity reporting hearing a gunshot.

Law enforcement officers, responding promptly, initiated a comprehensive search throughout the city, with SWAT teams joining the effort. The focus eventually shifted to the Wilbeth Homes area, leading officers to issue an arrest warrant and an Amber Alert for Eckel and the child.

Further investigative efforts honed in on a residence in the 1300 block of Sylvan Avenue. After surrounding the apartment, officers confirmed that Eckel was inside with the child. At approximately 11:20 p.m., Eckel released the child unharmed, reuniting the young boy with his mother.

However, the crisis was far from over, as Eckel barricaded himself in the apartment and refused to surrender. SWAT reengaged at around 11:45 p.m. and employed various de-escalation techniques before resorting to chemical irritants. Eckel, discovered hiding under a pile of clothing, was taken into custody without further incident after 1:00 a.m. Monday morning.

Following a medical evaluation at a local hospital, Eckel was subsequently booked into the Summit County Jail. He now faces charges of Kidnapping, Abduction, and Domestic Violence in connection with the incident.