No arrests after standoff in Modesto neighborhood

07/22/2014 7:49 PM

07/22/2014 10:52 PM

A large police response to Modesto’s airport neighborhood ended with no arrests Tuesday after officials decided the risk to law enforcement and the public was greater than the alleged crimes committed.

Stanislaus County sheriff’s deputies responded to 130 Santa Rita Ave. about 3:30 p.m. for a report of a family fight in which a woman was assaulted.

When deputies arrived at the the scene, suspect Fred Moreira Sr. reportedly made threats to harm them and ran back inside his home. That’s what led to a “heightened response” that included backup from Modesto police, said sheriff’s Sgt. Keith Rakoncza.

With rifles poised, deputies and officers surrounded the house, which is flanked by a church and a used-car dealership.

About 45 minutes into the standoff, Moreira’s cousin John Moreira came out of the house with his arms in the air. He was detained and put into a patrol car but could be heard from half a block away as he screamed at officers.

About 90 minutes into the standoff and several failed attempts to get Fred Moreira out of the house, the lieutenant on scene put an end to it.

“To make entry for the type of crime that we have is not worth their safety, or the officers’ safety and the public’s safety,” Rakoncza said. “We are not going to escalate anything.”

He said Tuesday’s family disturbance was the third since last week that deputies have responded to at the home. The female family member allegedly assaulted by Fred Moreira was uncooperative Tuesday and on the two previous occasions.

“There is no reason to put anybody at risk to make any type of entry … but we will continue to investigate the crime,” Rakoncza said.

John Moreira was released and officers and deputies left the scene as quickly as they had arrived.

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