Four suspects arrested after SWAT standoff

TAGUS RANCH – Four men were arrested Monday morning after a 10-hour standoff with law enforcement at a Tulare County motel.

More than 35 law enforcement personnel from the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office and the Bakersfield and Visalia police departments swarmed Motel 99 near Tagus Ranch off of Highway 99. The four men holed up in the second floor motel room ended the long standoff peacefully as they exited the room around 10:30 a.m.

Three of the men arrested were wanted in connection with a homicide that occurred outside a rave in downtown Bakersfield early Saturday morning. An investigation by the Bakersfield Police Department led to the motel room in Tulare County.

“Bakersfield police received some information that some potential suspect or individuals associated with the homicide might be at this motel,” said Bakersfield police Sgt. Greg Terry.

Bakersfield police officers went to the motel and attempted to contact the suspects, who refused to speak to officers or exit the room.

“At that point, we called and received the assistance of the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department,” Terry said.

Tulare County SWAT officers positioned themselves around the motel and on the roof. They repeatedly attempted to contact the suspects. During one of these attempts, the suspects emerged from their room.

“We actually attempted to send in a communication device – a cell phone-type device – that would allow us to communicate with them a little better,” said Sgt. Chris Douglass, spokesperson for the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department. “As we sent that in, the door opened and four subjects – Hispanic males – did come out without incident, hands in the air.”

One of the suspects, Ray Robert Avellanoza, 22, is suspected of fatally shooting a 27-year-old Bakersfield man around 1:30 a.m. Saturday after a fight broke out at The Dome in Bakersfield.

Two of the other suspects, Semein Cruz and Francisco Delgado, both 18, were arrested on suspicion of being an accessory after the fact, conspiracy, resisting an officer and street gang participation.

The fourth suspect in the standoff, 20-year-old Alejandro Amariz Navarro, was not arrested in connection to the murder. He is being held on suspicion of resisting an officer and gang participation.

Around 45 motel guests were evacuated from their rooms during the standoff.

Four suspects arrested after SWAT standoff was last modified: February 24th, 2011 by admin
Categories: Kern, Tulare

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Elizabeth Warmerdam

Beth Warmerdam is a freelance journalist based out of Reedley. She graduated from Fresno State in 2004 with a BA in print journalism and has worked for several newspapers and magazines. In addition to writing, Beth enjoys being a stay-at-home mom, trying to keep up with her 2-year-old son, Zachary.