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Confusion after woman allegedly claims managers are holding 12 people hostage inside bar––but SWAT finds no hostages

Miami police said they have a woman in custody Monday following a three-hour standoff that authorities originally believed involved management holding as many as 12 people hostage inside a local bar.

According to WBPF, police were called to Joseph’s Club Restaurant in Little Havana following reports of a robbery involving a cellphone. Upon their arrival, officers were reportedly met by a woman who ran out of the establishment and claimed that she was being held hostage by management.

“Our SWAT has breached the front door and our negotiation team is attempting to make contact with the management and/or hostages,” the Miami Police Department tweeted at around 3 p.m. Monday.

WQAM reported that police have since taken the woman who spoke with responding officers and two other people in for questioning. Adding to the confusion is the fact is that a SWAT team’s search produced no hostages inside the bar, allegedly conflicting with the woman’s original statements.

The Miami New Times reported earlier that the restaurant managers who barricaded the doors after someone outside of the restaurant had stolen a cellphone. Police said they closed local streets and placed two nearby schools on lockdown as SWAT worked with managers to reach a “peaceful resolution.”

Miami police officer Michael Vega told WQAM, “We’re trying to get to the bottom of it, see what exactly is happening and take it from there.”

Police originally said that they believe a bar manager prevented the 12 patrons from leaving the establishment and wasn’t answering the phone or responding to police’s requests to talk, the news station also reported.

Reports indicated that the Miami bar has been the site of several violent incidents in recent years. In 2014, a man who was denied entry into the establishment was involved in a shootout after busting in and claiming that someone was chasing him. In 2016, a patron was stabbed to death during an altercation inside the business.

At this point in time, it is unknown whether the unnamed woman detained for questioning will face criminal charges.

[Featured Image: SWAT at Joseph’s Club Restaurant/WPBF]