A rural South Manteca resident called 9-1-1 to report that someone was trying to break into their home.
That someone was the San Joaquin County sheriff’s SWAT team that had been summoned to the location by three different callers regarding a possible hostage being held at gunpoint. The call to 9-1-1 came after deputies spent several hours trying to get a response from anyone inside the house.
The caller ended up finding himself surrounded by the SWAT team early Friday morning after the altercation led to a tense standoff on Division Road.
Lance Barnes, 45, was taken into custody for felony assault with a firearm after an incident at the rural home that reportedly ended with one of the home cohabitants injured. According to the Sheriff’s Office, there were five people inside of the house under the influence of alcohol and after a dustup that resulted in a woman’s – reported to be Barnes’ wife – finger being broken, one of the other persons tried to intervene only to have Barnes point a rifle at their head and demand that they leave the property.
The three people that left – which reportedly included Barnes’ son – each called law enforcement to express their concern for the injured woman who was left behind in the house. When deputies arrived there was no answer at the door and calls on a PA system to come outside of the dwelling were not heeded.
“Despite various PA announcements, neither would come out of the house or acknowledge our request so SWAT and the hostage negotiation team were activated,” said Public Information Officer Sandra Mendez. “We thought we had a hostage situation.”
Because the incident happened so early in the morning in a rural part of the county, deputies decided not to order neighbors to shelter in place or evacuate their homes. Mendez said that none of the neighbors appeared to be aware that anything was happening.
After several hours and after more deputies mobilized on scene, the Sheriff’s Office received a call from inside of the house claiming that there were people outside attempting to break in.
Upon realizing that it was actually law enforcement outside the home – complete with the SWAT team and hostage negotiators, both Barnes and his wife agreed to come out of the house without incident where he was taken into custody for the assault with the firearm earlier in the evening.
Last year sheriff’s deputies announced that they were looking for Barnes after an incident at the same property where multiple gunshots were reported. Deputies responded to the scene and worked out rules of engagement before entering the home, but he was not found to be inside of the dwelling.
Responding officers found shell casings from a gun and a 9mm handgun was reported missing from the residence. Because of the danger involved with the possible incident, both the Lathrop Manteca Fire District and Manteca District Ambulance were staged off-site in case there were any injuries.
Barnes is currently being held in the San Joaquin County Jail on $200,000 for the felony charge, and is scheduled to appear in Department M1 of the Manteca branch of the San Joaquin County Superior Court on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.
The incident on Division Road was one of two high-level responses that the sheriff’s office was involved on Friday morning – which also included a deputy-involved shooting at the Days Inn in Stockton. In that incident a man armed with a handgun was reportedly pacing the hallway of the Waterloo Road business screaming about how somebody had stolen his television and reportedly pointed his gun towards deputies when they arrived – forcing them to use their service weapons to protect themselves. The deputies rendered first aid until paramedics arrived and the man was transported to the hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3544.