IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. — A five-hour standoff at a condominium complex in Imperial Beach ended Friday when heavily armed SWAT officers took a man suspected of assaulting a deputy into custody, authorities said.
Richard Allen Perez, 30, surrendered peacefully to deputies at 11:44 a.m.
The incident began at about 7 a.m. when deputies went to another residence in the neighborhood to investigate a report of a domestic disturbance, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. Perez, who had been released from prison eight days ago, assaulted a deputy, and fled at about 8:30 a.m., authorities said. The deputy was treated for minor injuries, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
Residents told Fox 5 News that the man ran to the condominium complex and knocked on the door of a second-floor unit. When the man who lived there opened the door, the intruder forced his way inside.
“We’re all very close where we live, so he probably thought it was just a neighbor,” said Jenece Nelson, resident.
The man was able to escape safety and deputies evacuated 12 units in the condominium complex as a precaution.
When SWAT officers arrived, they fired pepper balls and tear gas into the unit where the man had barricaded himself, witnesses said.
“He broke out a window and started throwing furniture down on the deputies from the second floor window,” said Lt. James Bolwerk, Sheriff’s Central Investigations.
He also threatened to shoot any officer of police dog that tried to enter the unit where he was hiding.
During the standoff, witnesses reported hearing what sounded like gunfire, according to sheriff’s officials the shots were from a pepperball gun deployed by deputies.
Sheriff’s crisis negotiators began an extended dialog with Perez and he eventually agreed to give up.
“I’m just glad they apprehended him before he escaped or could harm anyone else,” said Alle Ochoa, resident.
Investigators told Fox 5 Perez does have a criminal past, he was just released from prison 8 days ago. He faces felony charges of assault on an officer and resisting arrest.