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Keep Houston Press Free
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An Exclusive Interview with the Neighbor of the Woman Whose Ex-Cop Ex-Husband Held Her Hostage

It’s Thanksgiving Eve, and you’ve got some shopping to do. You step outside your home only to see cop cars swarming the block. Turns out, at the house behind yours, an ex-cop is holding his ex-wife hostage, and the police need your backyard, and your house, to stake him out. The turkey will have to wait – you’re not going anywhere for a while. This is what happened to Trey Smith, amateur chef and friend of Houstoned, and his fiancée last Wednesday.

So the house where the hostage situation took place is directly behind you?

Our back fence, it’s the house behind that. I didn’t know what the hell was going on. We were going to go shopping for Thanksgiving stuff, and we were backing out, and there were all these cop cars and a bunch of people standing around outside. This cop comes up and says, “Y’all should probably move back, there’s somebody with a gun.” I walked up the stairwell to see if I could see anything. I didn’t realize the extent of what was going on. A SWAT team guy came up and said “Get out of there.” And he came up and put this camo net over the a barbecue pit, and he was squatting down behind it with the rifle trained on the back window. I knew which room it was but I couldn’t see him. He was barricaded in that room.

Were you guys scared?

It was a little scary. We were looking out the French doors from the kitchen, you could see everything. Then this other SWAT guy came, all crouched down, up to the door and motioned for us to open the door. He said, “You know what’s going on, right? You need to stay out of this kitchen.” He came inside and said, “You gotta stay in the back.” It was pretty freaky.

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So now the cop’s out on bail.

Yeah, what the fuck is that? We were talking about it after it all came to an end, and I was like that “Dude’s gonna be locked up for a while,” and he’s out on bail after breaking into a house, pointing weapons at more than person, holding the woman at gunpoint for five hours or more. Something tells me if that guy wasn’t a cop he’d be locked up without bail.

Did you get your Thanksgiving stuff eventually?

We hung around till it was all over. They were still coming into our house, through the front door to the backyard. At the end…a guy came and said he had surrendered. No one was harmed. I made an herb-butter turkey and some delicious macaroni and cheese. – Cathy Matusow

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