EC police arrest barricaded suspect with K-9 assistance

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EL CENTRO – El Centro Police responded to a domestic dispute Sunday evening between three family members that escalated to calling in K-9 help and arresting the suspect two and a half hours later.

The El Centro Police officers were dispatched to an alleged assault with a deadly weapon in the 700 block of El Centro Avenue on Sunday, June 4, at 8:50 p.m. according to the ECPD press release. The reporting female alleged the suspect, her brother, had “tased” her and her mother. The suspect, identified as Ricardo Herrera (a 29-year‐old resident of El Centro), was reportedly upset over financial issues. During the argument, the caller alleged Herrera struck his mother several times and when his sister tried to intervene, Herrera struck her also. The sister retrieved a stun gun in an attempt to defend herself; however, she stated Herrera wrestled the stun gun away from her and used it on the victims.

Officers responded and located Herrera standing in the front yard activating the stun gun. Herrera refused to drop the stun gun and yelled for officers to shoot him before running into the residence. Herrera was ultimately able to slip through the perimeter and avoid arrest, according to the release.

At about 11:30 p.m., an officer checking the residence and heard movement inside and the sound of someone cycling a stun gun. Additional officers responded to help as Herrera walked out of the residence, stun gun in hand. Herrera refused to obey officers’ orders to drop the stun gun and walked back inside the house. A perimeter was quickly established with the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office the release stated.

Numerous attempts were made over the course of an hour to have Herrera walk out of the residence and surrender. Herrera refused to comply and continued to threaten to harm officers while maintaining possession of the stun gun according to the ECPD.

After several additional failed requests for Herrera to surrender and exit the residence, the release said officers determined it was necessary to enter the residence to arrest Herrera. Several canine announcements were made via the public address speaker on a police vehicle warning Herrera that a police canine would be deployed if he failed to comply with requests to surrender. Herrera was warned the canine would find him in the residence and he would be bitten. Herrera still refused to comply and surrender.

Officers entered the residence and the police canine was given the command to search for Herrera, according to the police department. The canine alerted to a closed bathroom door. Officers approached the door and ordered Herrera to exit the bathroom. He was again warned the police canine would be used to subdue him if he failed to comply. Herrera still refused to come out and surrender. Officers forced the bathroom door open where they found Herrera still holding the stun gun. The police decided to deploy the police canine.

The police canine bit Herrera’s clothing and Herrera struggled with the canine while continuing to refuse to surrender. Officers physically subdued Herrera and took him into custody. Paramedics treated Herrera at the scene for the dog bites and transported him to the hospital for medical clearance following department policy. Herrera was later booked into the Imperial County jail on charges of alleged felony assault and obstructing law enforcement according to the release.