Oakdale police subdue man suspected of holding family hostage

local@modbee.comDecember 12, 2011 

— Oakdale police used a beanbag gun to subdue a man who is suspected of holding his family hostage with a knife, authorities said.

Police were called to a home in the 200 block of South Fifth Street on Sunday about 6 p.m. to investigate a report that Lorenzo Avila, 46, was holding family members against their will, said Sgt. Mike Nixon of the Oakdale Police Department.

When officers arrived, another family member who was outside the home said Avila had a large knife and was sitting on the couch in the front room. A 66-year-old woman and 17-year-old boy were inside the home.

Avila had been under the influence of methamphetamine, prescription drugs and alcohol, and believed people were "trying to get him," according to Sgt. Keri Redd.

When officers got to the front door, they heard a loud banging from inside the home. As officers began to open the front door, they heard screaming coming from upstairs, where the woman and boy were.

Fearing for the family's safety, they entered the home.

Avila apparently ran into a closet beneath the staircase. Officers ordered him out, and he emerged with two knives, Redd said.

Officers told Avila to drop the knives, but he didn't comply, they said. They tried using a Taser on him, but it hit the the door jamb, just missing Avila.

Eventually, an officer shot Avila with a bean bag. He fell to the ground and dropped the knives, Nixon said. He tried reaching for the knives again, police said, and they again shot him with beanbags.

At that point, he was taken into custody and treated at a hospital with minor injuries. He was charged with false imprisonment, brandishing a knife and resisting arrest.

It wasn't known if family members inside the home were injured.

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