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Standoff in Fullerton Ends With 2 Arrests

June 18, 2003|Zeke Minaya | Times Staff Writer

Police surrounded a Fullerton house Tuesday morning during a five-hour standoff after residents told them that their roommate was acting erratically and had fired a gun.

But when authorities finally contacted Joel Mullings by phone to negotiate his peaceful surrender, Police Sgt. Ron Gillett said, Mullings' initial response was, "What is going on?"

Mullings, 29, who had been sleeping, was taken into custody Gillett said, but was soon released after investigators learned that his roommates had falsely implicated him to avoid getting into trouble themselves.

One of Mullings' two roommates had accidentally fired a shot while "showing off" a gun and the other man was being sought by police in an unrelated assault that had occurred earlier that morning, he said.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Friday June 20, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 2 inches; 65 words Type of Material: Correction
Fullerton SWAT incident -- A story in some editions of Wednesday's California section about a five-hour standoff with SWAT officers in Fullerton incorrectly identified a man arrested in the incident. Along with two others in the house, police arrested Joel Mullings, 29, not his roommate, Darryl Anthony Gordon. Police said Gordon, 33, was asleep at the time of the incident; he was questioned and released.

No injuries were reported and police recovered several firearms from the home, Gillett said.

Mullings' roommates -- Darryl Anthony Gordon, 33, and Charles Anthony Riptella, 30 -- along with house guest Jennifer Lee Canady , 25, also of Fullerton, were arrested.

Gordon was booked on charges of discharging a firearm within a dwelling. Riptella and Canady are accused of beating a woman with whom they had shared a cab that morning, Gillett said.

Police arrived at the house in the 500 block of Yale Avenue about 3:30 a.m. looking for suspects in the attack, Gillett said. As officers approached the house, they heard a firearm being cocked and then a gun blast inside, he said.

The officers withdrew, a perimeter was set up and the residents ordered out by bullhorn, Gillett said.

Gordon, Riptella and Canady left and blamed the gunfire on Mullings, he said. By the time the standoff ended, about 9 a.m., it had escalated to include a SWAT team and a helicopter, Gillett said.

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