Man Surrenders After Holding Estranged Common-Law Wife and Two Daughters Hostage in Texas for Nearly Two DaysBy CHARLES RICHARDS

McKINNEY, Texas (AP) _ A man who held his estranged wife and children hostage for nearly two days surrendered today, two weeks after his brother ended a similar standoff.

James Riccardo Lipscomb, 43, released his estranged common-law wife and two daughters and emerged from her orange-brick duplex apartment about 1 p.m. today. He was immediately placed under arrest and driven away by police.

The arrest proceeded smoothly and uneventfully, ending the 1 1/2-day drama that began Monday night after he found another man in the apartment of Denise Roach and threatened her with a knife.

Lipscomb is a brother of a man arrested after a 30-hour siege at a Plano day care center.

The first sign of significant movement in the ordeal came shortly before noon, when Lipscomb asked police to bring a lawyer to him around noon Wednesday. The lawyer, who was not identified, talked to Lipscomb a special phone line.

Lipscomb then emerged from the apartment first, being met and gently led away by police. Then came his wife, then 12-year-old Sherissa Lipscomb and 7-year-old Jama Lipscomb. Lipscomb had let their son, 9-year-old James II, leave on Monday night.

The resolution came after a morning in which police had grown less certain about whose side Ms. Roach is on, her estranged husband's or police's. Occasionally, she has urged police to leave them alone, assuring them that the family would be all right.

``It's kind of like a teeter-totter,'' Assistant Police Chief Ray Simmons said. ``You'd think, `Let's just pack this thing up and go home,' and then five minutes later you've got the opposite. It's very volatile, and if we pack up and go home, it could get worse.''

``The longer you go, the family is going to be more drawn in on his side,'' he said.

Police negotiators talked with Ms. Roach and Lipscomb early today, but not with the children.

The suspect has a lengthy history of domestic violence involving Ms. Roach, according to court records. Among several convictions was a February 1996 guilty plea to felony assault. Lipscomb confessed to hitting Ms. Roach with his hand and a large screwdriver. He received five years' probation.

Lipscomb was diagnosed with bipolar disorder during the court cases, a manic-depressive condition characterized by dramatic mood swings and periods of depression, the McKinney Courier-Gazette and The Dallas Morning News reported today.

On Dec. 17, police say, Lipscomb's brother James Monroe Lipscomb Jr. took 80 children hostage at a day-care center in nearby Plano on Dec. 17. He quickly released most of the children and five adults but a few were held until he surrendering the following day, 30 hours after the standoff began.

He remains jailed on kidnapping charges. Police said the standoffs were not related.