Murrieta police SWAT officers helped bring a suspect into custody following a nearly seven-hour standoff Thursday in Hemet, authorities said.
The combined Hemet and Murrieta Police SWAT team was called out at about 4:20 p.m. Thursday to the 1100 block of Merrimac Lane in Hemet after officers learned a suspect they had been searching for for two days may have been inside the home, said Hemet police Lt. Duane Wisehart in a news release.
The search for Nicholas Blane, 39, who also goes by Bergschneider, began Tuesday at about 12:15 p.m. when officers responded to a residence in the 400 block of north Thompson Street following reports of a man with a machete that had forced his way into a house and was threatening to kill people inside, Wisehart said.
Officers attempted to locate Blane over the next two days, according to the lieutenant. On Thursday, he said they learned he was possibly at the house on Merrimac.
"Officers responded and surrounded the house, and the suspect was seen trying to run out the back, but then ran back inside when confronted by officers, and he refused orders to come out," Wisehart said.
The Hemet and Murrieta combined SWAT team was called out after officers had "formed a good perimeter and made numerous attempts to verbally order the suspect out of the house but they received no response," Wisehart said.
"For many hours the SWAT team and negotiators tried several methods and tactics to get him to surrender, but received no response. Ultimately, chemical agents were deployed inside the house and Blane retreated from his attic hiding space and surrendered to officers in the rear yard. The standoff ended at about midnight."
Wisehart said the Hemet and Murrieta police departments have had a joint team for more than a decade, combining resources and personnel to better serve both cities in incidents such as this.
Hemet police Capt. Rob Webb added: "Our goal is to end events like this peacefully. This was a textbook SWAT operation and our officers’ dedication, professionalism, and training paid off and brought this incident to a successful ending."
Blane was being held at a county jail on $60,000 bail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, making terrorist threats and violating his probation, Wisehart said.