Black Creek scare ends peacefully

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 3, 2007

BLACK CREEK-A 62-year-old Vietnam veteran who had recently received cancer

treatment, including surgery for a brain tumor, was taken to Western

Tidewater Mental Health Center in Suffolk Tuesday night after a potentially

violent incident that shut down part of the Black Creek portion of

Southampton County for more than 2 1/2 hours.

James W. Holt Sr., a former Green Beret, had undergone cancer surgery about

seven weeks ago and had been taking further treatment when he threatened to

harm himself Tuesday evening, Sheriff Vernie Francis Jr. said following the

conclusion of the incident.

Because the trailer where the man lived was known to contain weapons – and

after reports pointed to a potential hostage situation – police responded in

force to the home on Black Creek Road, between Line Pine Road and Burdette


Deputies, state police officers and the Sheriff's Department Critical

Response Team all responded to the scene, and the road was closed near Black

Creek Baptist Church and the Line Pine intersection.

Francis said family members had been in the house when the situation began

around 6 p.m. but had left before police came onto the scene. By 8:30 p.m.,

Holt was outside of his home, and police &uot;took him into custody,&uot; the

sheriff added.

No one was injured in the incident, and the road was opened to traffic by

8:45 p.m.

A group of residents who were stranded by the roadblock, along with some of

Holt's family members, gathered at Black Creek Baptist Church during the