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Tuesday, 10 February 2015 00:00

Starbucks Standoff Ends Peacefully

LATHROP - A man armed with a knife and a box cutter was taken into custody by deputies with use of non lethal measures Tuesday afternoon.

The man sat in front of a Starbucks near Lathrop and Harlan Roads in a standoff with deputies, while about 20 people locked themselves in the business.

Negotiators attempted to reason with the man to surrender peacefull, but officials say the man appeared disoriented and did not respond.

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Authorities closed off the shopping center and evacuated several neighboring businesses. The people inside of the Starbucks were evacuated through a drive through window, as there was no back door.

Once everyone was clear, deputies deployed bean bag guns to subdue the man and detain him. He was taken to a waiting ambulance for evaluation.

There were no injuries reported in the incident.

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Published in Breaking News
Sunday, 08 February 2015 00:00

Ceres Standoff Ends in Deadly Blaze

CERES - A standoff lasting several hours involving a barricaded man believed to be armed came to a fiery end early Sunday morning.

Police received reports of a disturbance at a home on the 1600 block of Flower Garden Court near Blaker Road Saturday night. During the course of the investigation the Ceres Police SWAT team was activated. Authorities believed that a man had barricaded himself in a home and was reportedly armed with a handgun.

Officers evacuated neighboring residents to a safe distance as police surrounded the area and tried to reason with the distraught man. He was reported to not be a resident at the home. His connection is still being investigated.

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Some witnesses reported hearing a resident flee the home seeking help at the beginning of the incident.

As the standoff rolled into early Sunday morning, a gun shot was heard from inside the home just before the building erupted into flames.

Fire crews were called to the scene to combat the flames which caused the home's roof to collapse. SWAT officers trained in fire operations pulled hoses to the front of the house as firefighters pumped water from a safe distance.

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Once the flames were extinguished, the SWAT team made entry into the home. The gunman was initially not found and presumed killed in the incident. It is unclear what started the fire. Early indications suggest the man may have shot himself as the fire started in the home. He was last seen by officers on the second floor, where most of the roof had collapsed.

A body believed to be that of 32 year old Stephen Epperson of Ceres was found in the remains of the home. A coroner was requested to the scene later Sunday morning.

The incident is still under investigation. We will post further updates as they become available.

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Published in Breaking News
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 00:00

Man In Custody After Shooting, Standoff

EMPIRE - A man who authorities say barricaded himself in a home and fired a gun at officers during an hours long standoff was taken into custody early Wednesday morning by a SWAT team.

The incident began at about 7pm after a family disturbance in a home. The suspect, identified as 33 year old Raul Rubio was involved in a verbal argument with family members. Shortly after the argument, shots were heard in the home, prompting the family members to flee for their safety.

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Deputies arriving to the home on the 4000 block of Summit Way heard additional gunshots being fired inside and through windows. A perimeter was established and neighboring homes were evacuated.

Authorities tried to reason with the man to surrender peacefully, but officials say he fired on deputies through windows.

The Stanislaus Sheriff and Modesto Police SWAT teams responded to the scene, where after firing gas into the home, forced the suspect to exit and surrender. Rubio was taken into custody at about 12:30am.

Rubio was booked into the Stanislaus County Jail and faces multiple charges of assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer. No injuries were reported.

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Published in Breaking News

STANISLAUS COUNTY - Authorities have identified a man they say is responsible for setting fire to an occupied trailer on his property, causing a standoff early Sunday.

George Nazar, age 51, was booked into the Stanislaus County Jail on charges including three counts of attempted murder, arson, aggravated arson, and possession of a flammable material with the intent to burn.

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Authorities were called out to Nazar's property on the 400 block of North Verduga Road just east of Turlock for a report of a disturbance. During the investigation, authorities discovered that Nazar and other residents of a trailer on his property were involved in a verbal altercation. He then reportedly set fire to the trailer while it was still occupied, as well as an outbuilding on the property.

The residents of the trailer were able to safely escape the trailer and call 911. 

Responding law enforcement agencies were able to surround the home while Nazar remained inside his residence. Deputies were able to make contact with him via telephone and convinced him to surrender without further incident.

Deputies say there were no injuries during the incident.

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Published in Crime

MODESTO - A family disturbance leading to a Saturday morning standoff ended peacefully when a police negotiator helped defuse the critical incident.

Police were called to the area of Clovewood Avenue and Keller Street for a report of a family disturbance in a home around 9:30am. An adult male inside of the home was extremely agitated, said Sergeant Steven Stanfield of the Modesto Police Department.

"We tried to negotiate for him to come out to get some help," Stanfield said. "We didn't feel he committed a crime, but we wanted him to come out and make sure his medical needs were met." 

It would be at least two hours of phone conversation with a trained police negotiator before the man agreed to exit the home. Officers stopped traffic passing through the area to allow officers to try to reason with the distraught man.

"We have certified negotiators, and we happened to have three of them on duty today," Stanfield said. The nogtiator immediately began conversating with the distraught man and established a rapport. 

Ultimately, the man agreed to surrender peacefully.

"There's a lot of fear that just because we show up, we're here to arrest someone. In this case we weren't hear to arrest him, we were here to help him," Stanfield said.

The man was not charged with any crime, and was taken to a local hospital for medical care.

Published in News
Thursday, 02 January 2014 03:27

Three Arrests After Shooting, Standoff

Modesto Police SWAT officers arrest a man at the scene of a shooting on New Year's Day Modesto Police SWAT officers arrest a man at the scene of a shooting on New Year's Day

MODESTO - Three men are in custody after a shooting incident that began as an assault, police say.

On January 1st just after 5:30 am, police received a call from a woman stating her vehicle had been shot at as she drove to a location where her son had been assaulted earlier.

Officers arrived to the 1900 block of Reseda Lane and discovered the woman's vehicle had been struck by gunfire. Police made contact with two men who were standing in front of the residence in question, one of which fled into the home.

The remaining man was found to be intoxicated and arrested and booked for public intoxication. The man, identified as 24 year old Nicholas Rubalcava, was compliant and taken into custody without incident.

Police surrounded the home and attempted to make contact with the man who fled into the home, but although they could see movement inside, were unsuccessful in their efforts. The SWAT team was activated and responded to the scene.

Shortly before 9am, two men which police say were the shooter and the aggressor in the assault, exited the home and surrendered to authorities. Officials say the shooter was identified as 25 year old Johnny Martinez, the other man was identified as 23 year old Derrick McConnell.

A search warrant was served on the residence and several guns were located inside the home. One of the firearms was found to be stolen. Derrick McConnell was arrested for Battery Resulting in a Serious Bodily Injury. Johnny Martinez was arrested for three counts of attempted Homicide.

Police ask anyone with information regarding this investigation to call the Modesto Police Department at (209) 572-9500 or Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.

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Published in Modesto Crime
Friday, 09 August 2013 02:23

Standoff Ends In Rescue


Waterford - A girl was rescued this morning and a man was arrested after he threatened to set fire to his trailer while he and his daughter were inside.

The man was taken into custody at around 9:45am after Stanislaus County Sheriff's Deputies responded to the location on the 300 block of Sawmill Court and tried to reason with him. He refused to make contact with the deputies and could be heard threatening to set fire to his trailer with he and his daughter inside.

Deputies requested fire to respond and reports indicate there may have been evacuations of surrounding residences. Entry was made and the man was taken into custody. Deputies were able to rescue the little girl just as the trailer began to burn.

Waterford High School was placed on lockdown for a short period of time. Officials are continuing to investigate the incident.

Published in Breaking News
Thursday, 21 March 2013 01:31

Investigations Begin In Hostage Standoff


Authorities on Thursday morning began multiple investigations on an hours long hostage standoff that ended with an officer involved shooting.

An administrative investigation, an officer involved shooting investigation, as well as a separate investigation from the district attorney's office are all taking place at a home on Evona Court.

Officers opened fire on an armed man in the home during an attempt to rescue an injured elderly woman, presumably his wife. The man died from the shooting. He was armed with a revolver.

Lieutenant Rick Armendariz, a spokesman for the Modesto Police Department, said the woman's health was declining and required medical attention.

The incident began Wednesday evening at about 6pm. Police responded to the residence for a report of a disturbance. Authorities were confronted by the man who threatened to open fire on officers if they made any attempt to approach.

Negotiators were called to the scene to attempt to reason with him. Officials note that he became more aggressive as the standoff unfolded, at one point threatening to set fire to the home.

Officials will continue to investigate throughout the day.

Published in Breaking News

Reports indicate a former Modesto resident is the suspect in a standoff in Yuba City today.

At about 11am today, 29 year old Juan Carlos Alvarez entered the Big 5 sporting goods store at Highway 99 and Colusa Avenue in an armed robbery attempt. A shot was fired into the ceiling as the suspect entered the business, according to Yuba City authorities.

The man took a teen clerk and a 20 year old male employee hostage and asked for the back room. Customers immediately ran out of the building, and authorities responded to the scene.

SWAT officers and negotiators responded to the scene, while the shopping center was closed off. A hostage exited the building at about 3pm, followed by a shirtless suspect.

Published in Breaking News
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 11:33

Chrysler Incident Fourplex Demolished

A wrecking crew demolished what remained of last Thursday's deadly standoff today. The scene was closed for a few days after the incident while investigators from various agencies thoroughly collected evidence around the clock. The fourplex was destroyed last Thursday night after suspect Jim Richard Ferrario barricaded himself in the building, which caught fire around 10pm.

Ferrario is suspected of shooting and killing Stanislaus County Sheriff's Deputy Robert Paris and locksmith Glendon Engert during an attempted eviction. The incident began just before 11am and lasted well into the night. Authorities evacuated several surrounding residents, some for several days as the investigation took place.

Ferrario's body was located in a bathroom of the burned out ruins. He died from a self inflicted gunshot wound. Within arms reach were several weapons, several gallons of water, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. There were 22 firearms removed from the crime scene, 17 of those were rifles. It is suspected that one of those rifles is the weapon used to kill Deputy Paris and Mr. Engert.

Life is slowly getting back to normal at Whispering Woods. Residents not affected by the fire are back in their homes. Not all are back to normal however. One resident living next door to the destroyed fourplex posted a sign on her door reading "Media, leave me alone." A sign on the lawn read "Turn To Jesus"

A vigil is set for Thursday night at Graceada Park.

Funeral arrangements for Deputy are set for Friday at Noon. Service will be at Big Valley Grace Church on Tully Road, with a procession leading to Lakewood Memorial Park in Hughson immediately after. Details for Mr. Engert's funeral have not been released yet. Donations for the Engert family can be made at Valley First Credit Union: Glendon David Engert Memorial Account #187056


Published in Breaking News
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