Tear gas brings end to standoff in Ceres

Five men ditch car, run into mobile home, then yell obscenities at police

01/05/2008 3:56 AM

01/05/2008 3:58 AM

CERES -- Police launched tear gas into a mobile home to flush out three people suspected of robbing a man early Friday morning.

In all, seven people were arrested after they walked out of the gassed home, according to Ceres police.

The robbery occurred shortly after 1 a.m. in the Cost Less Foods parking lot at 1610 E. Hatch Road.

The robbers approached the man while he sat in his parked car, police said, adding that they told him they were armed and then took his wallet and some jewelry. The victim told police the robbers fled toward Herndon Road in a red Ford Thunderbird.

Within minutes of the robbery, officer Julio Amador spotted a red Thunderbird heading north on Herndon Road before it drove up to the mobile home in the 800 block of Bystrum Road, near Herndon Road.

The officer saw five men run from the car and into the home.

Several officers surrounded the home and ordered the occupants to come out. Nobody did, Sgt. Allen McKay said.

The occupants occasionally looked out of the mobile home and yelled obscenities at police, he said.

The police Special Weapons and Tactics and negotiation teams arrived, but the occupants still did not come out.

About 3:30 a.m., a search warrant for the home was obtained and a portion of the mobile home park was evacuated.

Shortly before 7:30 a.m., the SWAT team fired tear gas into the home. McKay said the occupants almost immediately came out and surrendered.

He said no weapons were found.

Arturo Valtavar Iniquez, 28, Remigio Iniquez, 21, and Erik Gomez, 22, all of Modesto, were arrested on suspicion of robbery and resisting arrest, McKay said.

Estevan Maciel, 21, and Wilfrido Iniquez, 24, both of Modesto, were arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest. A 15-year-old Modesto girl and a 16-year-old Ceres girl also were arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest, McKay said.

Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at rahumada@modbee.com or 578-2394.

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