Officers recognize wanted man, arrested after pursuit, standoff
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula Police Department
Published: February 22, 2013
Santa Paula Police officers who recognized a wanted man gave chase Tuesday, a pursuit that started on Highway 126 and ended hours later when the man finally came out of the Lucada Street house he had barricaded himself in.
According to SPPD Sgt. Jeremy Watson, the February 19 incident started at approximately 11:06 a.m. when “Officers observed a wanted subject, Ricardo Garcia, driving westbound on Highway 126 at Briggs Road.” Santa Paula Police wanted the 28-year-old Garcia for a domestic violence incident that had occurred earlier this month; he also had an outstanding felony warrant for a probation violation.
As Garcia passed the Palm Avenue exit officers attempted to stop his vehicle. As the patrol car moved into position, Garcia immediately began to flee at a high rate of speed.
Detective Allen Macias said Garcia reached speeds of approximately 96 miles per hour on Highway 126, and once he exited in Santa Paula he continued to drive on city streets at a high rate of speed. In addition, Macias said Garcia ran “multiple stop signs and red traffic lights throughout the city” as the pursuit wound through city streets.
The pursuit ended in the 300 block of Lucada Street, where Garcia pulled to the curb and exited his vehicle, fleeing into a nearby single-family residence. The house Garcia ran into belongs to someone he knows, and Macias said the resident came out “on their own, they didn’t want to be a part of it,” leaving Garcia alone in the residence.
A perimeter was established around the residence to prevent Garcia from escaping the area. The Ventura County Sheriff’s helicopter monitored the location until the perimeter was secured, as did VCSD deputies.
A reverse SPPD call was activated, asking residents to shelter in place while SPPD officers knocked on “approximately 15 to 20 doors” of residences in the immediate area offering an evacuation escort. “Some didn’t want to leave,” and Macias said they were advised to stay inside their residences.
Nearby streets were shut down and traffic was not allowed in or out during much of the standoff.
Garcia was instructed to exit the residence, but refused, and the SPPD treated the situation as a barricaded subject incident and the Special Response Team was activated. Macias said, “Negotiations ensued by the Crisis Negotiation Team,” and a cell phone was “thrown inside the residence... it was hours before Garcia finally picked it up.”
Once he started communicating with the negotiation team, Macias said, “It was a good half-hour or 45 minutes” before Garcia came out of the residence and gave himself up without further incident. Macias said Garcia, “a documented gang member,” was not armed during the standoff that lasted about four hours.
Garcia was taken into custody for felony evading, narcotics violations and being a felon in possession of ammunition. He was booked into the Ventura County Jail and, although a $100,000 bail was set, Garcia cannot leave jail because of the outstanding felony warrant violation.
No one was injured in the incident.