Family of Arvada teen held hostage thanks community, police, God for ‘safe return’

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A hostage in a stand-off in Arvada was released after 11 a.m. on Feb. 4, 2014.

A hostage in a stand-off in Arvada was released on Feb. 4, 2014. (Photo: KDVR viewer)

ARVADA, Colo. — The family of a 13-year-old boy who was taken hostage for about 18 hours in his home in Arvada released a statement Wednesday thanking the community for their support.

“The Ben-Joseph and Scott families would first like to thank God and all of our family, friends and the public for their support and prayers for Connor’s safe return. Our son is safe and home, and our first concern is his care and safety as we try to return to normal life,” the statement said.

“Connor is in good spirits and very happy to be back with his family,” the family added. “His strength and bravery through this ordeal is truly amazing and we continue to shower him with hugs and kisses as we all begin to heal.”

The teen was taken hostage by Don Pooley Monday around 5:30 p.m. Police said Pooley, a convicted felon who had a warrant for his arrest for parole violation, was trying to evade police after a domestic dispute at a nearby home.

He randomly choose the house Connor was in and took the boy hostage, police said. Connor’s mother and a brother were just arriving home and saw Pooley.

When police surrounded the home, Pooley threated to kill Connor unless officers left.

An 18-hour standoff ensued that finally ended when Pooley was shot by a SWAT team who was delivering breakfast Tuesday morning.

Pooley died at the scene.

“While this incident may be ending, it will be on-going for us as we work to bring our son’s life and family’s lives back to normal,” Connor’s family said in the statement.

Pooley had a lengthy but not violent criminal record that dated back to 1997. He was on parole and had an active Department of Corrections warrant for parole violation, records showed.