Baby OK, man arrested after GR standoff

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A baby was safely returned to her family and a man surrendered to police after a standoff on Grand Rapids’ southeast side Tuesday afternoon.

The incident started around 2 p.m. at a home on Watkins Street SE near Kalamazoo Avenue. The Grand Rapids Police Department said a 19-year-old man inside was threatening the baby. They thought he might be armed.

Around 4:20 p.m., the man came out holding the baby. He gave child to an officer. After being handcuffed, he appeared to start arguing with officers, at which point he was forcibly taken down.

The baby, an 8-month-old named Zoey, wasn’t hurt.

Alysia Seely, Zoey’s mother, told 24 Hour News 8 that the man is her boyfriend Chancy Cooper, who she said is abusive. Under a restraining order, he should not have been at the home, but she said he was often there regardless.

“It’s just been a recurring thing, like every day, he’s just beating me up,” she said, crying. “He’s with me every day. Like, the cops didn’t understand how I did not call them or how I was not able to call them. He was with me all the time. I could not go nowhere, not to job search, nowhere.”

She said she was able to call Cooper’s parole officer Tuesday afternoon. GRPD dispatched officers.

“I gave them my house key and told them, ‘You guys can go in. He’s not going to go out willingly,'” she said.

She said when Cooper saw officers, he refused to come out of the house and threatened to kill the baby and himself.

GRPD said the suspect broke out all the windows of the house and smashed through drywall.

Police brought in crisis negotiators to talk with Cooper, who they say has a history of mental health problems. They used a loudspeaker to ask him to come out and said they didn’t want to hurt him and didn’t want the baby to get hurt.

“I’ve been freaking out nonstop because he told me him and my baby weren’t coming out alive. I didn’t really care about him. … I just wanted my baby,” a still distraught Seely said after the standoff was over. “That’s been my biggest thing that’s been running through my head, is did he hurt my baby? Is my baby alive still? I didn’t know what’s going on. I don’t know if she’s alive, if she’s dead, anything. I didn’t even know if he was going to let her go.”

She didn’t know Zoey was OK until police brought Zoey to her.

After about two hours, Cooper gave up. After searching the home, police found there was no gun. It’s  not yet clear precisely what charges he will face.

“If your spouse is putting hands on you, get help immediately. Don’t let it escalate,” Seely said. “If you love them, you don’t love them. it doesn’t matter. That’s not love. And I tried to tell him this. This was my only way out. And it’s sad that it had to happen like this. But at least my baby is OK now.”

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Online:

Safe Haven Ministries: 616.453.6664

YWCA: 616.454.9922

—24 Hour News 8’s Heather Walker and Marvis Herring contributed to this report.

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