In a three-hour standoff the Ripon Police Department, with the help of the Manteca-Ripon SWAT team, captured a felony suspect on Tuesday.
Austin James Hensley, 27, of Oakdale was taken into custody on felony domestic violence charges and turned over to the Oakdale Police Department by Ripon officers.
The mid-morning incident began at 10:30 a.m. when an alert citizen called the Ripon Police dispatcher to report what she described as a suspicious person in a vehicle in the 500 block of Ripona Avenue.
Ripon officers located the vehicle and immediately discovered that the vehicle was wanted by the Oakdale Police Department in connection with recent felony domestic violence charges in that city. As soon as Ripon officers made contact with the suspect motorist, the man fled the area on foot.
Officer Richard Francis chased the suspect in a foot pursuit in the 600 block of Ripona Avenue. At one point the suspect was seen hiding on the roof of a residence after scaling a number of fences. As additional Ripon officers began to arrive – including the chief and the lieutenant – the suspect ran across Ripona Avenue.
Lt. Steve Merchant chased the suspect into an alley way that runs between Ripona Avenue and Ridge Avenue. The team of officers quickly set up a perimeter and began a comprehensive search of the neighborhood also with the help of the San Joaquin County Auto Theft Task Force.
Manteca canine officer Dale Goforth and his K-9 partner “Gunner” responded to assist in the search and they located a duplex in the 600 block of Ripona Avenue that had been broken into by the suspect. The wanted motorist was ordered out of the dwelling by officers but he refused to give up, police said.
Due to the belief that the man may have armed himself, the Manteca-Ripon SWAT team was activated out of Manteca for the safety of officers on the scene. Police said the suspect could be heard kicking out a wall in the attic that separated the two shared duplex units. It was three hours later that the suspect voluntarily emerged from one of the duplex units and was taken into custody without incident, police said.
He was subsequently turned over to the Oakdale Police Department and given a citation for Ripon’s lesser charges including resisting arrest.
Lt. Steve Merchant said that Ripon Police Department would like to thank citizens who reported valuable information with their assistance leading to a peaceful conclusion to what could have been a more serious event.
The Ripon command staff also wanted to thank the Manteca Police Department, the Ripon Fire Department and the San Joaquin County Auto Theft Task Force for their assistance with the case.