SWAT call out ends in arrest outside FBI’s San Diego headquarters


SAN DIEGO — An auto theft suspect was arrested Monday after pulling into a parking lot outside the FBI’s Sorrento Valley field office and refusing orders to surrender, prompting a law enforcement standoff.

The SWAT call out at the federal facility at 10385 Vista Sorrento Parkway began playing out shortly before 9:30 a.m., according to San Diego police, and was continuing in the early afternoon.

During the incident, FOX 5 reached out to San Diego FBI Public Affairs.

“There is an ongoing incident in the visitor parking lot at the San Diego FBI field office in Sorrento Valley,” said William C. McNamara, of San Diego FBI Public Affairs. “FBI personnel are working with the San Diego Police Department to bring a safe resolution to the matter. We are unable to provide further comment at this time.”

SkyFOX was over the scene around 11:30 a.m. when a SWAT unit was seen surrounding a pickup truck in the parking lot. Traffic was also being redirected.

At around noon, officers began moving in on the pickup. They eventually arrested the suspect, who San Diego Police Captain Benjamin Kelso described as a man in his mid-40s.

Kelso said the FBI initially did some background checks and believed the man might have had a violent history, which led them to escalate the response. A negotiations team was called in and remained on site for several hours trying to talk with the man.

“Those talks were unsuccessful,” Kelso said. “At a certain point, the decision was made to deploy some chemical agents and some other tools in order to see if we could get that person to comply and come out, but that individual ultimately did not comply.”

Kelso said officers were forced to break the vehicle’s window and use physical force to remove the man. He was not hurt and is currently in police custody.

According to intel from the FBI, Kelso said the suspect apparently sent emails and other communications to the FBI indicating that he wanted to talk to them. Kelso said the police department didn’t know what those conversations were about.

City News Service contributed to this story.

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