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Wanted man tries to hide in Ceres but eventually surrenders

Law enforcement officials surround a home in the 1900 block of Darrah Street in Ceres. According to a witness, a man fleeing officers entered the home around noon. Officers have launched tear gas into the home. (Bart Ah You/The Modesto Bee)
Law enforcement officials surround a home in the 1900 block of Darrah Street in Ceres. According to a witness, a man fleeing officers entered the home around noon. Officers have launched tear gas into the home. (Bart Ah You/The Modesto Bee) The Modesto Bee

CERES — A man who was holed up in an apartment for more than four hours surrendered Friday afternoon after officers persuaded him to walk out of the home peacefully.

No shots were fired during the incident and no injuries were reported.

Ceres police arrested Juliese Lawson, 27, whose last known addresses were homes in Stockton and Manteca, said Mike Borges, Ceres deputy police chief.

Police believe Lawson was visiting someone who lives in the apartment where he was holed up, but they did not know how long he had been in Ceres.

The Oakland Police Department had issued an arrest warrant for Lawson. Borges said Lawson was wanted for failing to appear in court on charges of oral copulation with a person younger than 14 and on suspicion of violating parole.

Friday's standoff occurred in the 1900 block of Darrah Street, about a block west of North Central Avenue.

U.S. marshals went to the neighborhood Thursday looking for Lawson, but they didn't find him, Borges said.

About 10:15 a.m. Friday, Ceres police Sgt. Dennis Perry spotted Lawson in the neighborhood. Borges said Perry approached Lawson, but he ran.

Borges said Lawson reached into his waistband and pulled out a handgun as he ran from Perry, jumped a fence and ran into the apartment.

Police evacuated residents from about a dozen nearby apartments, while more police officers, Stanislaus County sheriff's deputies and the Ceres police Special Weapons and Tactics team arrived. The sheriff's SWAT team responded as well.

Officers closed Darrah Street between Memorial Drive and Lois Way.

At one point, two women and a girl walked out of the apartment where Lawson was holed up and were taken away by police.

About 40 residents gathered behind street barricades on Lois Way. Other residents, who were not evacuated, peeked through windows from their homes on Darrah.

The temperature reached the mid-70s Friday, so Red Cross officials brought water for residents who had to wait outside.

Borges said miniature cameras were used to see inside the apartment.

Police negotiated with Lawson through cell phones and a public address system.

"You need to come out with your hands in the air," an officer said. "We are not going anywhere."

About 2:25 p.m., Lawson walked out of the apartment with his hands up. Officers handcuffed him and walked him down the street to put him in the back of a Ceres police patrol car.

By 3:15 p.m., police had opened the street and allowed residents to return to their homes.

Borges said police searched the apartment and its attic but did not find the handgun or other weapons. He said it was possible Lawson got rid of the gun as he ran from the sergeant.

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

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