Jose Luiz Datena negotiates release of hostages on air

9:43 PM, Nov 29, 2012   |    comments
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By Rafael Romo

Sao Paulo, Brazil (CNN) - A Brazilian TV host, who specializes in police and crime stories, found himself involved in the story when a suspect who was holding two people hostage demanded to speak with him.

Jose Luiz Datena, host of the show "Urgent Brazil" successfully negotiated with the suspect to release his mother and sister whom the man was threatening to kill with a knife.

Datena later said he regretted having played that role.

The hostage situation unfolded inside a house located in the greater Sao Paulo metropolitan area.

Police had already surrounded the house after getting a report that a man, armed with a knife, was keeping his mother and sister hostage.

It was 4:30 p.m., and Datena was on the air anchoring his police and crime-themed show.

Back at the house, police attempted to negotiate with the suspect for more than one hour but had been unsuccessful.

It was then that the suspect told the police he wanted to talk to Datena and the officers agreed to his demands.

For 20 minutes, the TV host, still live on the air, pleaded with the man to let go his two hostages unharmed, and he finally succeeded.

Brazilian news cameras caught the moment the suspect's mother and sister walked out of the home unharmed.

The suspect finally surrendered to police and was taken to a nearby hospital. He was apparently distraught because he had lost his job and was having marital problems.

After the nerve-wracking episode, Datena told a Brazilian online news outlet that he regretted having negotiated the liberation of the hostages.

"I deeply regretted doing that," he said. "It is not our role as journalists."


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