PITTSBURGH – A man attempted to flush an infant down the toilet during an overnight standoff in Mount Washington, the city’s Public Safety Department said.

The incident began at around 12:30am.

Pittsburgh police said they were initially called for a domestic situation during which the man pulled out a gun.

At some stage during the incident, police said the man tried to flush the 6-week-old child down the toilet.

“Who does that?” said neighbour Jessica Haines. “I just can’t imagine it. It makes me sick. It makes me sad.”

A woman in the home managed to escape with the child, who was admitted to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC to be assessed.

“Hearing someone doing something like that, I was shocked,” said Haines. “I was literally shocked when I saw that this morning. I couldn’t believe that actually happened.”

Police have identified the man as Dennis Gateley, 31.

Gateley remained in the house for two hours, but eventually gave up shortly after 2:30 a.m. and was sent to the Allegheny County Jail.

Gateley is facing several charges, including aggravated assault, simple assault, persons not to own a firearm, terroristic threats and endangering the well being of a minor.