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Police Sieges

March 10, 2006 | From the Associated Press
A former teacher armed with a handgun that fires rubber bullets surrendered peacefully Thursday after taking hostage nearly two dozen people, most of them students, in a classroom at his former school in western France, officials said. Nicolas Vilpail, 33, was on medication and apparently under the influence of alcohol during the four hours he held 21 students and two aides captive, authorities said. A government official said Vilpail had made "paranoiac demands." No one was injured.
March 9, 2006 | Richard Winton and J. Michael Kennedy, Times Staff Writers
Thousands of hapless travelers were trapped Wednesday on the Long Beach Freeway, and a possibly related accident resulted in the death of one man, as police waited out a kidnapping suspect whose getaway car had stalled on the highway. Drivers of cars and big rigs alike sat in their vehicles and stewed as the lines of traffic stretched farther than they could see.
February 22, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Police blasted out a 20th-story window and stormed a room at a Las Vegas Strip hotel-casino, arresting a gunman who authorities say killed a man and shot at police and a security guard during a six-hour standoff. Police would not say how they shattered the window in the 35-story Harrah's Carnaval Tower, describing it only as a tactical diversion. The alleged gunman was uninjured.
February 15, 2006 | Lynn Doan, Times Staff Writer
A Santa Ana man was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of kidnapping his former girlfriend and their 4-year-old son and driving them to San Diego, where both were found unharmed. Antonio Acosta Hernandez, 28, was taken into custody about 7 p.m. by Santa Ana police officers who saw him in a car and ordered it pulled over, said Cmdr. Charles Deakins of the Santa Ana Police Department. Inside were Cristina Silva, 27, and the couple's son, Brian Hernandez.
February 3, 2006 | From a Times Staff Writer
Several neighbors were evacuated Thursday after a man barricaded himself inside a Fullerton house and briefly exchanged gunfire with police. "We don't know if there is anyone else in the house," Lt. Neal Baldwin, a spokesman for the Police Department, said of the evolving situation late Thursday. The standoff began about 6:30 p.m., Baldwin said, when neighbors called to report shots fired in a house on the 2300 block of Camino Escondido.
January 27, 2006 | From Associated Press
A man who kept a group of bank employees hostage for more than 10 hours with a pellet gun was held Thursday on charges of bank robbery and seven counts of hostage-taking, authorities said. Jess R. Martinez, 47, of Visalia was arrested about 3:30 a.m. after he sent the last of his eight hostages out to fetch a pack of cigarettes police left outside the front door, Exeter Police Chief Clifton Bush said.
January 26, 2006 | Jill Leovy, By Jill Leovy
An armed robber took as many as nine people hostage in a Bank of America branch in Exeter, Calif., on Wednesday after employees alerted police. The incident began about 5 p.m. as the bank was closing, said Jim Houck, city editor of the Visalia Times-Delta newspaper, who was monitoring the incident over police scanners. Displaying a handgun, the man demanded money, then took the bank employees hostage and told negotiators to provide him with a car.
January 4, 2006 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Police on Tuesday identified a man who apparently killed himself after exchanging gunfire with officers on New Year's Eve as Michael Richter, 27. Police said Richter died at a hospital early Monday. Officers found him unconscious in the street with a gunshot wound to the head shortly after Saturday's shootout in the 300 block of North Occidental Boulevard. Richter allegedly fired at officers who responded to a report that he had threatened his wife with a gun.
January 2, 2006 | From a Times Staff Writer
Police on Sunday were investigating separate officer-involved shootings -- one in Los Angeles, the other in South Gate. A 28-year-old Los Angeles man was in critical condition after apparently shooting himself in the head after an exchange of gunfire with Los Angeles police, authorities said. Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Michael Mattox said officers were called to the man's home about 8 p.m. Saturday to investigate a report of domestic violence.
December 16, 2005 | David Haldane, Times Staff Writer
A 20-hour standoff ended Thursday when Westminster police shot to death a man they said had threatened family members and fired at officers with a shotgun. Javier Escamilla, 29, died about 5:45 p.m. at his family's home in the 6800 block of Wee Way. "We'd been trying and trying and trying to get him to peaceably give up and talk to us," said Lt. Al Panella of the Westminster Police Department. "We'd been trying to initiate a dialogue, but he just refused to talk." The incident began about 9 p.m.
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