FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. CONTACT EPD MEDIA LINE @ 760.839.4444.
Prepared by Lt. Mike Loarie, PIO/ Investigations Bureau
On Wednesday, December 19, 2012, at about 4:30 PM, the Escondido Police Department arrested Hector Robles (30 years) and Diana Ponce (24 years) after a several hour SWAT standoff.
At about 12:30 PM, EPD Gang Unit detectives discovered Robles and Ponce were in a home in the 500 block of W. 7th Ave. The detectives had been looking for Robles and Ponce because they were suspects in recent crimes that had happened in the City of Escondido back in the first days of December of this year. The crimes were violent in nature and weapons were involved.
At about 1:00 PM, the detectives made a call into the home to get Robles and Ponce to come out and surrender. Robles and Ponce would not answer the phone call. The detectives made announcements on a bullhorn to convince the pair to come out. Neither suspect answered.
Because of the history of violence with the two suspects, detectives made a request for additional on-duty officers to assist. At about 2:00 PM, it became clear that neither suspect was going to give up, and the EPD SWAT and Emergency Negotiations Team was activated to respond.
During the incident, some homes were evacuated and streets in the surrounding area were blocked. Attempts to get the suspects to come out of the home or answer calls did not work.
Later during the incident, SWAT officers deployed tear gas into the home to see if the suspects would respond. The suspects still did not come out, and SWAT officers went inside to search for them. The SWAT officers found both suspects hidden in a small closet type area and took them into custody without further incident.
No one was injured from this incident and the officers on-scene were able to get evacuated people back into their homes as well as open the roadways by about 6:00 PM.
The crime that started the EPD detectives to investigate Robles and Ponce was a home invasion robbery (from earlier in December) and a separate incident of possession of firearms. Now that they are in-custody, detectives are piecing together their original case where both Robles and Ponce are believed to be part of a home invasion robbery, burglary, assault with a deadly weapon and possession of firearms. They will also be charged with obstruction/ delaying police from today’s incident.
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