A 55-year-old Menifee man allegedly sexually assaulted his girlfriend in his house and then barricaded himself inside for hours until police flushed him out, authorities said Friday.
Gary Allen Byrd was arrested Thursday and booked into the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta on suspicion of forcible rape and domestic assault. He is being held on $55,000 bail.
About 11:30 a.m. Thursday, the victim, whose identity was not disclosed, emerged from the suspect’s home in the 29000 block of Citation Avenue with visible injuries, prompting a passerby to inquire about her welfare, according to Menifee police Capt. David Gutierrez.
The woman informed the good Samaritan that she had been assaulted, and he called 911, Gutierrez said.
Patrol officers arrived a few minutes later and attempted to speak with Byrd, who locked himself inside his residence, refusing commands to step out, Gutierrez alleged.
After learning that Byrd might be armed, members of the Southwest Cities SWAT unit were summoned to handle the standoff. The unit consists of Menifee, Murrieta and Hemet police officers.
According to Gutierrez, the house was surrounded, and crisis negotiators continued to try to convince Byrd to surrender peacefully.
When he didn’t respond after five hours, SWAT members fired tear gas into the house, at which point Byrd immediately walked outside and surrendered, Gutierrez said.
“This was a very dangerous and rapidly evolving incident that had the potential to end with a deadly confrontation with the suspect,” police Chief Pat Walsh said. “I would like to personally thank all the officers and professional staff from our agency, and the Murrieta and Hemet police departments. Their professionalism and exceptional training led to a safe resolution.”
The victim was taken to a hospital for treatment and is expected to fully recover.
Byrd was not injured, nor were any law enforcement officers.
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