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April 17, 2007
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Calif. police use less-lethal rounds to subdue woman with gun to her head

Inside Bay Area

OAKLAND, Calif. — A 32-year-old Oakland woman was taken into custody Sunday after holding a gun to her head and threatening to kill herself during a five-hour standoff with police.

Oakland Police officers subdued the woman by firing less-than-lethal rounds of bean bag at her after she got out of her vehicle in the 2700 block of 68th Avenue.

The suspect was taken in for a psychiatric evaluation and could face charges of brandishing a firearm, making criminal threats, stalking and evading arrest.

The incident began at 6:15 a.m. Sunday morning when Pleasanton Police officers responded to a report that the 32-year-old woman was following her estranged female partner, a newspaper carrier who was on her morning route.

Pleasanton Police said the partner, who also lives in Oakland, reported being recently stalked by the suspect following a break-up.

At one point, police said, the suspect confronted the other woman and threatened to kill both of them. The victim fled and called police.

When Pleasanton officers tried to stop the 32-year-old woman's vehicle, she left Pleasanton, heading west on Interstate 580 toward Oakland.

She left the freeway and stopped in front of a home on 68th Avenue and put a gun to her head, police said.

The Oakland Police Department's Tactical Operation Team was called to the scene, where Officer Francisco Lopez, who is not a regular negotiator, established a rapport with the woman.

"He did a heck of a job," said Lt. Ed Tracey, one of two Tactical Operation Team commanders at the scene. "He quickly built a relationship with her. He really made a difference."

The woman reportedly speaks Portuguese, and Lopez, who speaks Spanish, was able to talk to her.

The woman was arrested shortly before noon.

Tracey said the incident ended as well as it could.

"Anytime we can use the least amount of force to end a situation and no one gets hurt, it's a good day," he said.

Copyright 2007 MediaNews Group, Inc. and ANG Newspapers
All Rights Reserved

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