By Chrystian Tejedor
BOYNTON BEACH — A man who police said tried to grab a woman in a gated development then barricaded himself in a townhouse Thursday morning was nabbed hours later by the city's SWAT team, officials said.
SWAT officers shot Arthur G. Soberon Jr. twice when they entered the townhouse and found that he suffered from several self-inflicted stab wounds, Boynton Beach police Sgt. Suzanne Gitto said. She did not say what time the SWAT team walked into the place and did not know where Soberon, 30, of West Palm Beach, had been shot.
Paramedics took Soberon to Delray Medical Center, where he was treated for injuries that were described as not life-threatening. He remained in the hospital Thursday night.
Police have yet to charge Soberon with a criminal offense. Gitto did not know why he tried to grab the woman, who was walking her dog.
Massimo Lanfranchi called police about 11:15 a.m. when the woman, a neighbor he did not know, ran into his garage in the 500 block of Belmont Place yelling for help.
"She said the guy grabbed her and said, 'Come with me,' " Lanfranchi said.
They ran outside and called 911 while the heavily tattooed Soberon managed to break open a French door on one of Lanfranchi's bedrooms and barricaded himself inside, Lanfranchi said.
Police arrived shortly afterward and talked with Soberon in hopes of getting him to surrender but were not successful, Gitto said.
Before SWAT officers entered Lanfranchi's home, officers knocked on neighbors' doors to get them to safety.
Neighbor George Elliott said he heard some commotion about 11:30 a.m., when officers pulled people from their homes. "He seemed like a crazy person," Elliott said while walking around his gated Belmont at Boynton Beach community, off Knuth and Woolbright roads. "First thing he did when he got there was setting the place on fire."
Lanfranchi said Soberon set fires in a bedroom and in his kitchen. The restaurant manager felt lucky because he was almost done moving to a new home in Delray Beach and aside from the damage in those rooms he lost some plates, shirts and underwear.
"Too bad it happened in my place," said Lanfranchi, who hoped to rent out his two-bedroom unit.
State records show Soberon had a run-in with Boynton Beach police in February. Officers charged him with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and resisting an officer. The outcome of that case was not immediately available.
Staff Researcher William Lucey contributed to this report.
Copyright 2007 Sun-Sentinel Company
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