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Calif. police use concussion grenade to end standoff

By George Kelly   

Richmond police have arrested a man who was sitting in a parked car with a shotgun after an all-night standoff.

"He was taken into custody and given a psychological evaluation," said Richmond Police spokesman Lt. Mark Gagan. "Anytime someone is suicidal or homicidal and involved in a standoff like this, we make sure he has an evaluation."

At 9:50 p.m. Monday, a man Gagan identified as Rocky Joseph, 22, went to a residence in the 100 block of Bobolink Way in Hercules. "The suspect was confronting somebody that he used to work with," Gagan said. "He goes there to confront the individual, and after the confrontation he gets back in his car and drives home."

Gagan said Hercules police intercepted Joseph's car, a newer-model silver four-door sedan, and followed it to his Richmond apartment in the 1700 block of Carlson Boulevard. When officers approached the car, they saw he was armed with a shotgun and called Richmond police. Negotiators were sent to the scene and talked with the man by cell phone.

Just before 6 a.m., California Highway Patrol Officer Brian Land said the CHP received word of Richmond police action near the Carlson Boulevard off-ramp for Interstate 80. Land said the CHP sent a unit to the area, but that I-80 was not shut down and traffic in the area was unaffected.

At 6:35 a.m., negotiators persuaded Joseph to give up the shotgun. A SWAT team then set off a concussion grenade outside the car and officers overpowered Joseph.

"We weren't sure if he had other weapons in his car," Gagan said. "In a situation like this, when people are armed, you can't assume that's the only gun he has."

Gagan said the SWAT team worked side by side with department negotiators to make sure the standoff ended without unnecessary violence, injury or death. "Their main goal is to bring a peaceful resolution," Gagan said. "Those behaviors actually make it safer for everyone."

 Contra Costa Times (http://www.contracostatimes.com/)

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