Photo: Jonathan Soto
On April 7th at 4PM, adult and children occupants fled from a home in the 2000 block of East Hillcrest Avenue when 32-year old Jonathan Soto grabbed a screwdriver, held it a to female victim’s neck, and barricaded himself and the victim inside a bedroom.
Visalia Police called upon the Crisis Negotiation Team and the SWAT Team to facilitate negotiations to free the victim from her hostage situation. After nine hours, Soto failed to release the victim or surrender, and it became time for SWAT to move in.
Soto was without the screwdriver when SWAT made their move, but did choke the victim and used her as a human shield as SWAT came into the bedroom. Despite this, SWAT was able to remove the victim from Soto’s custody and Soto was successfully placed under arrest injury to either party.
During negotiations, Soto reported his immediate access to a firearm, however, a gun was not found.
As of April 10, 2019, Soto is in custody at the Adult Pre-Trial Facility in Visalia. He is faces charges of false imprisonment, assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats, and corporal injury to a spouse. His bail is set at $60,000.
Photo from the Visalia Police Department