A man claiming to have a bomb in his truck had a standoff with law enforcement for over an hour Friday night in downtown Ceres, police said.
At just after 8:30 p.m. Friday, the Ceres Police Department responded to the Shell gas station on the 300 block of Fourth Street. A man, identified as 31-year-old Armando Delacruz of Livingston, had called 911 to report he had been shot at and chased, according to Ceres police Sgt. Greg Yotsuya. He provided this account:
When officers arrived, they found Delacruz sitting in the driver’s seat of a Chevy pickup trick near the pumps of the gas station. Ceres Officer Christian Izquierdo was first on scene and heard Delacruz say that he had a bomb in his vehicle. Delacruz claimed that if he got out, it would explode.
Backup officers arrived and ordered Delacruz to exit the vehicle, but he repeated his claim that he could not or his truck would explode. Due to the bomb threat, officers from the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department and CHP, as well as the specialized sheriff’s Explosive Ordnance Detail, came to the scene to assist.
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A perimeter was established, and several people in nearby businesses were evacuated as a safety precaution. Officers used a public address system to communicate with Delacruz. During their conversations, it was determined that he was likely under the influence of a controlled substance due to his irrational language.
Officers negotiated with Delacruz for more than an hour, but he refused to exit his vehicle. Police ultimately deployed non-lethal pepper balls to force him out. He then rolled out of the truck and was taken into custody without further incident. The vehicle was checked by a bomb robot for explosive devices, and none were found.
The scene was declared safe at 11 p.m. Delacruz was cleared medically and then taken into custody. He was booked into the Stanislaus County Jail on charges of being under the influence of drugs, reporting a false bomb threat and possession of drug paraphernalia.