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HOUSTON – Force was used to break down the door of an apartment following a nearly two-hour SWAT standoff Thursday in southeast Houston, but no one was inside.

The SWAT scene began before 4 a.m. at a complex along the Gulf Freeway at Redford, south of Airport Boulevard.

Houston police responded to a call from a woman who said her ex-boyfriend assaulted her at her apartment early Thursday.

The woman told police that she fled the apartment with her 18-month-old daughter after she was assaulted by her ex, who she had a protective order against. The woman was not seriously injured, according to police.

Officers managed to reach the man on his cell phone at one point, but he refused to answer again. Police believed the man barricaded himself inside the apartment as they arrived, but later realized he had fled.

The suspect, identified as 21-year-old Aaron Watts, was still on the run as of 12 p.m. Police have issued a warrant for his arrest on multiple charges.

One neighbor said she often heard fighting in the apartment.

"I told her to hold her head up, be strong. Do it for your baby at least. He's less than a man to beat her in front of his child," Tameika Smith said.

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