A MAN held two children hostage for hours inside a house in an armed stand-off.
Police said the 24-year-old refused to hand over the children to their mother and was threatening to harm himself.
Officers were alerted to the drama in Oversetts Road, Newhall, at 10.20pm on Tuesday, and the incident continued into the early hours of yesterday.
Patrol cars flooded the street. Officers were accompanied by dogs and armed with Tasers.
A spokesman for Derbyshire Police said: "We received various reports that a man had locked himself inside a house with children and was threatening to self-harm.
"As the incident progressed the man fell ill and police had to force their way into the property."
Police said they found the suspect unconscious inside the house and their Tasers did not have to be discharged.
The children, believed to be aged two and seven, were unharmed and have now been returned to their mother.
One resident who lives nearby said: "I was woken up at about half past 12 and just heard the police shouting: 'It's the police, we've got Tasers and if anybody moves we'll use them'.
"The next thing I knew, about half an hour later they were carrying a bloke out on a stretcher and the kids were being taken to their mum.
"They had to put the door through with a battering ram and they had loads of dog units parked up the road.
"There was at least five police cars, an ambulance and an awful lot of officers outside."
Another person who saw the incident said: "He threw a woman out of the house and kept the kids hostage.
"There were so many police officers outside I struggled to get into my home.
"Eventually one of them walked me through all of it to my front door.
"There were police officers and dogs everywhere. It was crazy."
It is currently unclear how the suspect became unconscious.
He was taken to Queen's Hospital in Burton, where he remained unconscious and in a critical condition as the Mail went to press.
Police were unable to arrest him because he was unconscious when they found him.
Another witness said: "We see police driving up and down this road all the time, but it's usually for things to do with youths causing trouble.
"I've never seen anything like this before.
"It's quite worrying when you see it happening on your doorstep – it makes you realise that these things can happen to you."
Anybody with any information about the incident is urged to call Derbyshire Police on the non-emergency 101 number.