Fontana police nab parolee after standoff

FONTANA – A SWAT team ended a six-hour siege Sunday by capturing a wanted parolee who had barricaded himself in a home, falsely telling police he had a hostage.

John Sawyer, 31, San Bernardino, on parole for attempted murder, had jumped from his car while waiting at a DUI checkpoint at the corner of Sierra and Walnut on Saturday. Police followed Sawyer into a neighborhood on Wheeler Avenue, where he smashed a window to enter an empty residence, according to reports.

“He (told) police that he’s got a hostage, a 17-year-old named Justin,” said Green, “and that he’s going to kill the hostage if they (the police) come in.”

The residents returned to their home around 11 p.m., which was now a crime scene, and told investigators they didn’t have a child named Justin.

Officers ultimately fired a tear gas canister into the home, which struck Sawyer on the head. He was taken into custody shortly after.

“He ran because he was a parolee at large,” said Green. “We’ve had some people just drive through the barricades. Some people might be 20th in line and say, ‘uh-oh,’ and turn around. But we’ve never had anyone just hop out of their car and start running.”

Sawyer may have also been under the influence, said Green, as drugs and a pistol were found upon his arrest.

Sawyer will be arraigned in court on Wednesday, said Green.

Fontana police nab parolee after standoff was last modified: August 2nd, 2012 by admin

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Lee Brown

Obrey "Lee" Brown has worked for 10 newspapers and magazines in the Bay Area, central and southern California. In 2005, he wrote "A Citrus Test: Football in Black & White." He can be reached at