A criminal threats suspect who claimed to be a “sovereign citizens” adherent barricaded himself in a Pasadena apartment Monday, prompting a SWAT team response, police said.
The Pasadena Police Department received a call about 11:30 a.m. about a suspect inside the apartment complex allegedly making threats to another resident, according to Lt. Bill Grisafe, who said the same man is believed to be the subject of an outstanding warrant for alleged past criminal threats.
When officers arrived at the scene, the suspect barricaded himself inside and refused to come out, Grisafe said. It was not known if the suspect — whose name was not immediately released — is armed, he said.
A SWAT team was sent to the apartment to try to negotiate with the suspect, who espoused “sovereign citizens” ideology, according to Grisafe.
The Sovereign Citizens Movement is a right-wing extremist group made up of people who reject the authority of judges, juries, law enforcement and elected officials, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“Sovereign citizens believe they get to decide which laws to obey and which to ignore, and they don’t think they should have to pay taxes,” the SPLC reports on its website. “The movement is rooted in racism and anti-Semitism, though most sovereigns, many of whom are African American, are unaware of their beliefs’ origins.”