Suspect Arrested After Six Hour Standoff

August 7, 2009 11:24:17 PM PDT
A six hour police standoff ended after a police dog found a suspect hiding in a Fresno apartment complex. Police responded to the Orchard Square complex in the 2200 block of South Maple after a woman called claiming she was being held against her will by a man with a gun.When police arrived they discovered the woman had escaped, after claiming to have been held for several days. She said the man, her former boyfriend remained inside her apartment, and had started a fire. She told police he was armed with a rifle.

Police evacuated adjacent apartments and kept the entire complex locked down for six hours. They established phone contact with the suspect, who was identified as 22 year old Joseph Wilkerson, of Brawley, California.

Police say Wilkerson denied he was in Fresno. A police dog was brought in and officers determined Wilkerson had broken into an adjacent apartment. He was forced out by the dog, and arrested. Wilkerson was taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries.

Police say he started a fire in the woman's apartment, burning clothes and a mattress. Wilkerson faces a variety of charges including false imprisonment and domestic abuse.

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