Man Charged in Hostage Situation in Burnsville
Ariel Luis Barnett, 31, of Burnsville.
Photo: Dakota County Sheriff's Office
A man has been charged in a hostage situation that occurred last weekend in Burnsville.
Ariel Luis Barnett, 31, of Burnsville, was charged in Dakota County District Court with two counts of second-degree assault and two counts of kidnapping in connection with holding employees at a Holiday gas station at gunpoint.
The incident happened around 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7 and later resulted in a standoff with police, according to the complaint. Police say Barnett took two employees hostage inside the gas station while he was attempting to rob the business.
Barnett reportedly was armed with a shotgun and fired one shot into the ceiling, according to police. The two employees were not hurt.
Officers responded to the Holiday gas station near the intersection of Highway 13 and Nicollet Avenue and set up a perimeter, blocking off traffic on nearby roads.
There was a short standoff, but Barnett reportedly came out of the store after an officer spoke with him on the phone and convinced him to surrender, police said. He did so peacefully, and was then taken into custody.
Barnett had been in a seven-year relationship with a woman and they had recently separated after he was jailed in Rice County for 53 days on an unrelated matter, according to the Dakota County Attorney's Office.
"This appears to be another incident of domestic-related violence, which escalated into an extremely dangerous hostage situation," said Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom in a statement. "Thankfully, no one was seriously injured, but the trauma to the victims held at gunpoint was significant."
Barnett is scheduled to appear in Dakota County District Court on Oct. 8. His bail was set at $250,000, or $150,000 with conditions.