The sheriff’s SWAT team outside the home in South El Monte. Courtesy Los Angles County Sheriff’s Department

A 51-year-old domestic violence suspect who had been armed with a knife was in custody Monday after a tense six-hour barricade standoff with deputies at a home in South El Monte.

The drama began shortly before 1:30 p.m. Sunday in the 9600 block of El Poche Street, Deputy Kimberly Alexander said. The suspect was identified as Martin E. Hernandez, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

[symple_googlemap title=”Police Standoff” location=”9600 El Poche Street, South El Monte, Ca” height=”300″ zoom=”13″]

Initially, deputies from the Temple station responded to the location, sheriff’s Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez said.

The department then dispatched a Special Weapons Team from the sheriff’s Special Enforcement Bureau as well as negotiators to the scene.

It all started with a domestic violence call, she said.

“Several deputies responded to the location and the man’s (Hernandez’s) girlfriend told them that during an argument, the man produced a knife and began to threaten her with it,” Navarro-Suarez said. “That’s when she called the sheriff’s department.”

Hernandez also allegedly threatened to set the house on fire, and as sheriff’s negotiators vainly tried to talk Hernandez into surrendering, nearby houses were evacuated and deputies also turned off the gas to the house, Navarro-Suarez said.

“Finally, our special weapons team from the Special Enforcement Bureau made entry into the house and found the man (Hernandez) hiding in the attic,” Navarro-Suarez said. “They took him into custody without further incident.”

Hernandez was taken into custody about 7:25 p.m. and was not injured in the takedown. He was booked on suspicion of felony spousal assault and making terrorist threats, according to the deputy.

A knife was recovered at the scene.

–City News Service

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