take hostages

take hostages

To hold people captive and threaten violence to them in order to prevent another party (e.g. the police) from using force or in order to create leverage so that another party will agree to meet some demand. Police are not sure yet whether the criminals have taken any hostages. We might get a year or two in prison for robbing the joint, but they're going to throw us away for a long time if we start taking hostages.
See also: hostage, take