Robbery suspect arrested after standoff with police.
On Sunday, January 19, 2014 at about 10:50 am., the City of Hemet Police Dispatch Center received a 9-1-1 call from the victim of an attempted robbery that had just occurred in the parking lot of a bank in the 1100 block of E. Florida Ave. The victim advised that the suspect was armed with a handgun and that he had just stolen another victim’s vehicle. The suspect fled the scene in the stolen vehicle at a high rate of speed and was last seen in the area of Santa Fe St. and Acacia Ave.
As the responding officers began flooding the area, they learned that the suspect had brandished a handgun at the first victim, demanded money, and when the first victim did not give him any, the suspect got into the passenger seat of a vehicle that was in the drive thru ATM line. The suspect pointed the handgun at the driver of the vehicle and demanded money from him. This second victim was unable to give the suspect any money so the suspect forced him out of the vehicle and drove away. Neither victim was injured during the incident. Officers were unable to locate the suspect or the stolen vehicle at that time.
At about 12:36 pm., a citizen called dispatch and advised that they saw a subject who matched the suspect description, moving a vehicle that matched the stolen vehicle description into a garage in the 900 block of E. Whittier Ave. Hemet police officers converged on the area and saw a subject run into one of the apartments. The subject began barricading the apartment and the officers established a perimeter and began evacuating nearby residents. The Hemet / Murrieta joint SWAT Team was notified as well as the City of Hemet Detective Bureau. A section of Whittier Ave. was closed down and residents were evacuated to safety while officers attempted to get the people in the apartment to surrender through verbal negotiations. One suspect eventually surrendered while another suspect forced his way into an adjoining apartment and attempted to flee through a window. The second suspect was taken into custody without incident a short distance away.
A search warrant was obtained and members of the Hemet / Murrieta SWAT Team served the warrant on two apartments and a garage. No additional suspects were located however; the stolen vehicle was found as well as additional stolen property. The investigation is still ongoing and investigators are attempting to determine if the suspect that surrendered was involved with the robberies.
Bryan Nighswonger, 28 year old Menifee resident.
Robbery and Car-Jacking