A domestic disturbance quickly turned violent Saturday and then escalated into a hostage situation involving an 8-month-old child.

Cullman County sheriff's deputies successfully persuaded Matthew E. Dauksza, 24, of County Road 1233 in the Ebenezer community of northwest Cullman County, to release the child after an almost 40-minute standoff.

Later Dauksza, who contemplated taking his own life, was persuaded by authorities to give up the knife he threatened to use on the child and then himself.

Dauksza was later booked into the Cullman County Detention Center on multiple charges including domestic violence, assault, reckless endangerment and menacing.

"We initially received a report of a domestic dispute at a residence on County Road 1223 around 1:50 p.m. Dauksza allegedly assaulted some other family members and the situation escalated and the suspect ended up taking an 8-month-old little boy hostage," said Sheriff Tyler Roden.

Roden said Dauksza, armed with an 8-inch butcher's knife and a sharpener, took the baby into a bedroom of the home.

"He lay down on the bed with the baby on top of him. He had the weapons in his hands and they were resting on top of the baby. The whole time, Dauksza is threatening to kill the baby. It was a very tense and volatile situation," Roden said.

Sheriff's deputies Cpl. G.W. Parker and Cpl. Chris Willingham were among the first to make contact with Dauksza and begin a conversation aimed at calming him down and eventually persuading him to release the child.

"They talked to him calmly about the situation and after several minutes he had calmed down enough that he agreed to release the baby, which was unharmed," Roden said. "He kept the knife, however, and then began threatening suicide."

Again the officers talked with the suspect, Roden said, and eventually won his confidence to the point that he gave up the knife and allowed them to take him into custody.

"The deputies did a fantastic job. I don't know of anyone who could have handled that situation better," Roden said. "Deputies Parker and Willingham, and the other officers who assisted, exhibited patience and tact that resulted in a peaceful end to a very serious situation. I appreciate their hard work and good judgment. It was just an exceptional job by everyone involved."

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