SPPD: Tense hostage situation ends quickly with man’s surrender

February 14, 2003
Santa Paula News
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesA tense hostage situation early Tuesday evening was resolved quietly when a suicidal man was talked out of a Dartmouth Road home without injuring a hand-full of family members he had held inside.According to Santa Paula Police Commander Mark Trimble, at approximately 6:08 p.m. on Feb. 4, police responded to the 400 block of Dartmouth Road to a report of a “possible suicidal male subject armed with a gun. . .when officers arrived they were further advised that the subject inside the house possibly had an infant with him and he was threatening to possibly injure the child and himself.”A perimeter was set up around the house and the SPPD Special Response Team and crisis negotiator summoned to the scene.“We advised the neighbors to stay inside and cordoned off the street so no one was allowed in or out of the area,” noted Cmdr. Trimble.Once the Special Response Team and crisis negotiator arrived on scene, phone contact was established with the man inside the house and “negotiations were started. . .after a real short time he came out and surrendered to officers.”
The man had been instructed to leave the infant inside the house and after he was taken into custody the Special Response Team searched the house and discovered “four additional family members,” inside the residence with the infant.Cmdr. Trimble noted that “nobody was hurt,” during the incident and that the former hostages were transported to the Santa Paula Police station where they were interviewed by Ventura County Mental Health workers.“The investigation is continuing to see what, if anything, he will be charged with or the incident just deemed a mental health issue,” said Cmdr. Trimble.

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