A man whose objectives were unclear was arrested Thursday following a lengthy standoff with authorities at a Wells Fargo bank branch in Hawthorne where he had barricaded himself.
A bomb squad was sent about 8:25 p.m. Wednesday to the bank in the 13500 block of Hawthorne Boulevard, near 135th Street, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which was assisting Hawthorne police at the scene.
The man entered the bank about 5:45 p.m. and handed a teller a note, prompting evacuations, CBS2 reported. Witnesses said the man was seen wearing a vest with wires exposed.
The man refused to leave the bank after it closed, authorities said. An employee told authorities the man had been to the bank previously, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Authorities tried to communicate with the suspect using loudspeakers.
“He has refused to acknowledge our presence,” Hawthorne police Lt. Jim Royer told The Times, adding that the man did not make any demands. “We certainly would like to know why he’s in there.”
That block of Hawthorne Boulevard was closed to traffic.
Authorities shot tear gas into the bank and sent a police dog in to retrieve the man, according to a news photographer at the scene.
The man was taken into custody at 2:26 a.m., the sheriff’s department reported without releasing details on the capture.
SWAT members went into the building to arrest the man, who was taken to a hospital after being placed into custody, a news photographer said. It wasn’t immediately clear why the suspect was taken to the hospital.
—City News Service