HOUSTON -

Houston police are searching for a man who they were told had barricaded himself inside a southeast Houston apartment, but slipped away undetected, possibly before SWAT officers arrived.

Investigators say a woman called 911 early Thursday reporting that her boyfriend, Aaron Watts, had assaulted her. She said she filed a protective order against Watts last month.

Police say the woman and Watts, who are both 21 years old, share an apartment in the 1200 block of Redford, and they have an 18-month-old child.

The woman told police she and their baby were able to escape the apartment after the alleged assault, and Watts had barricaded himself inside with weapons.

HPD and SWAT officers arrived and stationed themselves outside the unit.

“So because we had a barricaded suspect, believed to have weapons who had just assaulted someone, so showing violent tendencies, the HPD SWAT team as well as the Hostage Negotiation Team was called out,” said HPD spokesperson Kese Smith. “When the hostage negotiation team got here, they actually made contact with the suspect on his cellphone for a brief period of time and then he stopped communicating with the HNT officers after that.”

Police obtained a search warrant, then entered the apartment, but Watts was nowhere to be found.

Police say Watts is now a wanted man for violating a protective order and they are hoping to locate him very quickly.