A judge Wednesday denied a bail reduction request from a 44-year-old Wildomar man accused of shooting a rifle into the air and shouting threats at his neighbors, triggering an hours-long standoff with sheriff’s deputies.
Eric Clifford Rinderhagen 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.
The defendant’s attorney submitted a motion asking Riverside County Superior Court Judge Stephen Gallon to consider lowering his client’s bond requirement, but the judge declined, leaving Rinderhagen’s bail at $20 million bail.
Prosecutors said they requested the exceptionally high amount for Rinderhagen, who’s being held at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta, based on public safety risks.
Gallon scheduled a felony settlement conference for Jan. 30 at the Southwest Justice Center.
According to sheriff’s Sgt. Brett Seckinger, the defendant came to the attention of deputies in November 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 24000 block of Mauri Court, he should be considered a potential safety threat. He was not arrested at that time, however.
About 11 a.m. on Dec. 21, 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 allegedly hunkered down in his house for over nine hours, while crisis team negotiators tried to talk him out, Seckinger 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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