STANTON – A man called police early Saturday morning to report a Chevron gas station robbery, then locked himself in the station’s inside bathroom and claimed he had an assault weapon, Sheriff’s authorities said.
Neither was true, sheriff’s discovered, after a SWAT team busted into the bathroom after a three-hour standoff.
Officers received the robbery report around 3:30 a.m. and upon arriving at 10961 Beach Boulevard followed a suspicious car out of the station believed to have been connected to the call, investigators said.
Officers found a concealed handgun on a 23-year-old male in the vehicle and two other unarmed female passengers. The man was arrested.
Deputies went back to the Chevron after they were unable to connect the passengers to a robbery, Sheriff’s Lt. Jim England said.
The gas station’s owners told deputies that no robbery had occurred.
Officers then discovered that a 25-year-old man had locked himself inside the station’s bathroom and claimed that he had an assault rifle, England said.
The man, who Sheriff’s authorities believe made the call claiming that a robbery was in progress, refused to unlock the bathroom door.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department SWAT team was called around 4 a.m., investigators said.
Negotiators and officers stayed at the Chevron until 7 a.m., when SWAT officers entered the bathroom, England said.
Sheriff’s found that the man did not have a weapon.
He was arrested on suspicion of a misdemeanor offence of reporting a false crime, a felony vandalism charge for causing more than $400 of damage to the bathroom, and resisting arrest.
The man has a history of medical issues and was taken to the hospital before booking, England said.
His identity will not be released until after he has been booked, England said.
By ALYSSA DURANTY/ THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
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