An American man has caused a tense situation at an apartment complex in Ho Chi Minh City as he locked himself and his two daughters in his flat after a quarrel with his soon to-be-divorced wife, causing the woman to denounce him as a kidnapper to police.
As of Monday evening, the foreigner, known only as Kenn, had remained in his unit on the 8th floor of the Him Lam Apartments in District 8 with his children, while police officers and his friends stayed outside, persuading him to show up and release the kids.
The man, who is an English teacher, is married to a Vietnamese woman and has two daughters, though the couple are completing divorce procedures, according to news site VnExpress.
The husband and wife reportedly had a quarrel over who would take care of the kids after separation, before the incident occurred late on Sunday.
According to the An Ninh (Security) TV, the American at first locked the whole family inside the room, causing the wife to call their friends for help.
The wife also called the emergency police in panic, saying her kids' lives were "endangered."
As local residents and police officers besieged the apartment, the husband agreed to let the woman out, but kept the daughters with him behind the locked door.
The U.S. man remained inside the room until late Monday, but did not seem to do any harm to his children. In fact, he appeared calm and polite when talking to police, and even asked a friend to give him some milk for the kids, according to VnExpress.
The news site reported that Kenn denied his wife’s allegation that he was holding the children captive. The U.S. man said he only wanted to prevent the kids from meeting anyone, until their divorce dispute was settled.
He also wanted to meet his lawyer and a representative from the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City.
The husband reportedly wanted to raise the daughters after the couple’s divorce and was willing to continue sharing the flat with his wife so she could take care of the kids. However, the wife disagreed, saying she wanted to have the children with her alone.
Police said the wife was so panicked that she accused her husband of being a kidnapper, while the situation was in fact not as serious.
“The wife was so affected by the quarrel that she misreported the case to police,” VnExpress quoted a police officer as saying.
“We did not have to break the door to get in to rescue the children because they were under no threat from their father.”