Standoff forces Highway 80 closure

April 8, 2009 10:42:31 PM PDT
The main northern artery linking California and Nevada was shut down near the Sierra summit Wednesday while authorities negotiated with a man who was holding a woman and three children hostage.

The main route linking California and Nevada remains shut down near the Sierra summit while authorities negotiate with a man who was holding his family hostage.

The CHP has shut down Interstate-80 in both directions, between Baxter and Truckee.

An armed parolee is still held up in a car with a shotgun. A short time ago he released his wife and three children.

KCRA-TV in Sacramento reported that it was the man's wife and three children in the car. Stan Perez, chief of the California Highway Patrol Valley Division, said one of the children is an infant.

"He does have a weapon. It's very tense," Perez told the Associated Press. "We are negotiating with him right now, working toward a peaceful resolution."

Sacramento County Sheriff's Capt. Scott Jones said the man fled as deputies tried to arrest him on a warrant after his $70,000 bond was revoked. The man was scheduled for sentencing Thursday and faced more than 15 years in prison, Jones said.

It was not immediately clear what crime led to his conviction. Authorities also would not release the man's name, saying only that he was from the Sacramento area.

After deputies spotted the man in his vehicle at a fast food restaurant, he led them and CHP officers on a chase that reached speeds of 80 mph, said Sacramento County Sheriff's Sgt. R.L. Davis. A spike strip stopped his sedan on Interstate 80 near Norden, about 90 miles northeast of Sacramento.

Ken Waters, identified by KCRA as the suspect's bail bondsman, arrived at the scene early Wednesday evening. He described the standoff as tense.

"He threatened to kill his children," Waters told KCRA, adding "I hope this comes to a peaceful end."

Officers brought a relative from Sacramento to help in negotiations.

There are detours in the area, but motorists are encouraged to avoid the area.


Load Comments