Ex-OFW holds wife, kids hostage for 12 hours

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Saturday, July 5, 2014

CEBU (Updated) -- A former overseas worker held his wife and two children at gunpoint inside their house in Sitio Sindulan, Barangay Tinaan in the City of Naga, Cebu for nearly 12 hours Saturday.

Veroni Bacon, 48, did not leave his house and refused to heed demands from the police to release his wife Lendela and his two daughters since 6 a.m. Saturday.

He was finally subdued past 5 p.m. after policemen met his demand that a lawyer be sent inside the house.


At 6 a.m. Saturday, residents of Sitio Sindulan woke up to cries for help coming from the Bacon household.

City of Naga hostage-taking
Veroni Bacon, in red cap, suspects that his wife is having an affair with another man. He held them and their two children hostage for 12 hours. (Sun.Star Photo/Justin K. Vestil)

It was only when they approached the house that they saw Bacon, using a .357 revolver, was holding hostage his wife and two children, ages 21 and one year old.

Relatives of the suspect, who refused to be identified, said that before the hostage-taking, Bacon argued with his wife about allegations that she was having an affair.

But another relative believes the man was under the influence of illegal drugs.

Bacon, a registered industrial electrician, used to work in Canada for two decades before he was forced to retire after his doctor found out that he had a heart condition.

Since then, Bacon has been allegedly suffering from depression.

He eventually found work in the City Government of Naga as a plumber. Both he and his wife are workers in City Hall.

City of Naga hostage-taking
The wife and children of Veroni Bacon are brought to safety following the brief commotion that led to their rescue. (Sun.Star Photo/Justin K. Vestil)

Devi Bacon, 23, the suspect’s eldest daughter, told reporters that her father has been using drugs since they were very young.

“Nigrabe lang gyud karun sa dihang niuli siya sa Cebu pag 2008 (It worsened after he came home in 2008),” she said.

She revealed that her parents had separated a few months ago, after her father beat up her mother.

At 7 a.m. Saturday, City of Naga Mayor Valdemar Chiong arrived to help the police negotiate with the suspect.

But Chiong’s efforts were in vain as the suspect refused to talk to the negotiators.

The police got a response from Bacon after his relatives were allowed to enter the house to speak with him.

Two Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams from the City of Naga and the Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) were deployed near the house to help with the negotiations.

PO2 Gilmer Noval of the City of Naga Police said they also gave Bacon and his family some food.

The family pleaded with the police to avoid hurting Bacon during the operation.

Noval said that Supt. Brindo Nacario, the city’s police chief, also helped with the negotiations.

Asked for a lawyer

Bacon had told PO2 Noval that he would be willing to surrender if some of his demands were met, including sending a lawyer that would supervise a written agreement between Bacon and his wife.

After City of Naga legal officer Alfredo Garcia appeared to help the police, Bacon immediately threw his pistol and three bullets outside the house, signaling his willingness to surrender. This was around 5:20 p.m.

The police rushed to the house, but the rescue attempt was not easy because Bacon still had a switchblade that he pointed at his wife. His wife had bruises and a wound in her neck.

Both the wife and the two children were brought to a hospital for observation.

Supt. Nacario congratulated his personnel and the CPPO team for the successful operation, particularly since Naga’s SWAT team was organized only less than a month ago.

The police plan to file charges of violence against women, child abuse, illegal detention and illegal possession of firearms against Bacon. (Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 05, 2014.

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