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Man arrested after hours-long standoff

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Posted: Saturday, May 11, 2013 7:33 pm | Updated: 4:51 pm, Sun May 12, 2013.

An apartment building on Walnut Street was evacuated on Saturday afternoon while police arrested a man on suspicion of attempting to stab a woman.

Shortly before 4 p.m. on Saturday, the Lodi Police Department received a call for a domestic dispute on the 300 block of East Walnut Street. Upon arrival, officers said they learned that Juan Garcia-Cruz, 26, had barricaded himself inside an apartment with a woman. They had been arguing and the man tried to stab the woman, according to Officer Erika Urrea.

By 4:30 p.m., at least eight police cars and one fire truck had taken over that block of East Walnut Street and a portion of the Smart & Final grocery store parking lot on Lodi Avenue.

A SWAT team was called in, along with a Critical Incident Negotiations team, said Urrea, to coax the suspect out of his apartment. A mobile operations truck was called to the Smart & Final parking lot to manage the incident.

An officer with a sniper rifle was stationed on East Walnut Street aiming at an upper-story window of a gray apartment complex.

Several other apartment residents were told by police to remain indoors, away from windows and doorways and to wait for further instructions.

A standoff went on for three hours from the time of the call.

One woman was detained in the back of a police car, but officers did not elaborate on her connection to the incident. Three young adults were also questioned regarding the event, and detained by police. It is not known if they were arrested.

A weapon may have been discharged from inside the apartment, so police moved witnesses, bystanders and family members of those locked inside farther away from the scene.

At 6 p.m., members of the SWAT team prepared to enter the apartments and evacuate the residents stuck inside. More than 10 people were safely removed, including several children.

The victim barricaded in with the suspect was safely removed from the apartment at the same time. Her injuries are unknown, police said.

The surrounding homes were also evacuated to keep residents out of harm’s way.

Officers were able to enter Garcia-Cruz’s apartment and arrest him at 6:55 p.m., Urrea said. He left his residence and was arrested on suspicion of assault with a firearm, brandishing a knife, domestic violence and criminal threats, Urrea said.

No other information was immediately available.

News-Sentinel staff writer Ross Farrow contributed to this report.

Contact reporter Sara Jane Pohlman at sarap@lodinews.com.

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