Felony and misdemeanor charges were filed Wednesday against a 44-year-old Wildomar man who allegedly shot a rifle into the air and shouted threats at his neighbors, triggering an hours-long standoff with sheriff’s deputies that ended with his peaceful surrender.
Eric Clifford Rinderhagen, who was arrested last Thursday night after the confrontation in the 24000 block of Mauri Court, is charged with three counts of making criminal threats, four counts of harassment by telephone and one count each of recklessly discharging a firearm, resisting arrest and stalking.
He’s being held without bail at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta and is slated to make his initial court appearance Wednesday afternoon at the nearby Southwest Justice Center.
According to Riverside County sheriff’s Sgt. Brett Seckinger, the defendant came to the attention of deputies last month after he allegedly made “threats to kill multiple people” with whom he was acquainted or had associated with in the past.
Seckinger said detectives initiated an investigation and determined that, based on Rinderhagen’s alleged behavior and the fact that he had a number of guns registered at his residence in the on Mauri Court, he should be considered a potential public safety threat. He was not arrested, however.
About 11 a.m. Thursday, the defendant allegedly walked outside of his home, aimed a rifle in the air and fired several shots, then yelled unspecified threats at his neighbors, according to the sergeant.
Patrol deputies and SWAT members converged on the location, evacuating surrounding homes and closing several streets, including a portion of Clinton Keith Road, a major east-west artery in southwest Riverside County.
In the ensuing standoff, Rinderhagen hunkered down in his house for over nine hours, while crisis management team negotiators tried to talk him out, Seckinger said. He said the defendant eventually surrendered without SWAT members having to forcibly enter his residence.
No one was injured.
According to court records, Rinderhagen has misdemeanor convictions from 2009 for spousal abuse and disturbing the peace. A woman filed a domestic violence restraining order against him in 2015, but the circumstances were not disclosed.
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