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Robber who pistol-whipped pizza delivery driver taken into custody after 11-hour standoff

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A SWAT team arrives at a Santa Ana home where a man suspected of trying to rob a Pizza Hut delivery driver barricaded himself overnight.
(OnScene.TV)

A man who police say tried to rob and carjack a Pizza Hut delivery driver before barricading himself in a home in Santa Ana was taken into custody Wednesday after a nearly 11-hour standoff with police.

The circumstances surrounding his arrest were not immediately clear. However, authorities said they used a diversion device — typically gas or flash bangs — to draw the man out of the home.

The situation began at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday when an armed man demanded money from a delivery driver who was standing outside his car at a Chevron gas station on Bristol Street. The driver apparently didn’t move fast enough, so the suspect pistol-whipped him with a handgun and tried to steal his car, according to Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.

The man, who has not been identified, ran into a nearby neighborhood when the delivery driver spotted a patrol car nearby and called for police. He hopped over several fences as he fled from officers before entering a home in the 3200 block of South Thornton Street, Bertagna said.

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A man who saw the armed suspect enter his home got out on his own. Police helped two women and a child exit the home from an upstairs window, Bertagna said.

Authorities tried for hours to persuade the man to surrender. Hostage negotiators threw a telephone into the house to communicate with him, but he refused to answer their calls. Early Wednesday, police shouted to him over a megaphone warning there were K-9s outside and saying he should exit the home on his own.

“Surrender to the first police officer you see, and you will not be hurt,” an officer called through the speaker.

Police also sent a robot equipped with a speaker inside the house. The robot cleared the garage area and the first floor of the home but was met with several closed doors upstairs, where police said the man was likely hiding.

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“Obviously this is a dynamic situation,” Bertagna said during the barricade. “This individual is armed, and there may be weapons inside the house. We’re taking this slowly and methodically.”

hannah.fry@latimes.com

Twitter: @Hannahnfry


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