Los Angeles: A paroled gang member with a history of violent crime was arrested Sunday night after refusing to comply with police instructions, brandishing a handgun at officers and attempting to elude arrest by hiding in a residential attic. He ultimately surrendered to SWAT officers after a 12-hour stand off.
On February 25, 2007, at approximately 11:25 a.m., police from Van Nuys Area station were dispatched to a man with a gun call at a residence in the 7500 block of North Sepulveda Boulevard. Officers had been summoned to the same location earlier in the morning for an assault with a deadly weapon call, but the suspect was gone when they arrived. When officers returned a second time, they saw the suspect, Gonzalo Escoto, 34, in a vehicle. Officers followed Escoto as he parked near his residence and fled on foot. Police then saw the suspect pull a handgun from his waistband and point it in the officers’ direction. Police Officer III Paul Williams, 40, 17 years with the department, fired his weapon. The suspect was not struck.
Escoto ran into the house and barricaded himself, refusing to come out. Information obtained from witnesses confirmed that he was still armed. LAPD SWAT was summoned. During the course of the day, Escoto repeatedly refused to surrender despite the deployment by police of over 100 canisters of tear gas into the house. SWAT officers eventually entered the residence and located Escoto in the attic. He was taken into custody without further incident. The suspect’s weapon was not recovered.
Escoto is a confirmed gang member and parolee. He was previously deported for violent crimes and returned to the United States illegally. When taken into custody, he was under the influence of narcotics and alcohol. Subsequent to his arrest, he was transported to Valley Presbyterian Hospital as a precaution and later released to police custody.
Escoto was charged for assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer.
Force Investigation Division personnel responded to the scene and are investigating both the officer-involved shooting and the assault with a deadly weapon on the officers.
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