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FARMERS BRANCH (CBSDFW.COM) – A woman in Farmers Branch, fearing for her life, calls police for help. But the subsequent standoff with police turned into something very different on Sunday morning.
According to the Farmers Branch Police Department, officers went to a building near the intersection of Belt Line Road and Marsh Lane after a 911 call was traced to the business, which is vacant and under renovation.
The female caller said she had assaulted and was being held inside the building against her will.
After an hours-long standoff with an unidentified suspect, police kicked in the door and found the woman locked inside a room. They also found a “maze” of a mess left by a man who had apparently been living inside of the empty medical office building.
It took hours of searching before officers found 56-year-old Javier Alfredo Leal hiding in the attic. Farmers Branch police Deputy Chief Mark Young said the discovery was the result of persistence. “We called him several times throughout the day… tried his cell phone and it was turned off. We knew he was there – it was just a matter of taking our time.”
Leal has a prior police history of domestic violence. He has been charged with unlawful restraint, violating a protection order and breaking city codes for living in the vacant commercial building.
According to reports, workers at nearby businesses had told authorities that they noticed people coming and going from the business at all hours of the day.
Police are trying to contact the building owner and find out who has the right to be in the building.