The standoff started early in the morning after several attempts to reach the suspect who was holed-up in his grandmother's house proved to be unsuccessful. In the end, 25-year-old Arlondo Wesseling was led away by Oakland police after a tense standoff that forced the evacuation of neighboring houses and prevented others from getting to their homes.
"He's a wanted warrant suspect for home invasion robbery," OPD spokesperson Johnna Watson said. Police received a tip that the man they had been looking for for weeks was inside. An order to evacuate was given. Other family members cooperated. Wesseling did not. "So, we were treating him as armed and dangerous," Watson said. SWAT officers fired multiple rounds of teargas to force the suspect from the house and used their chopper "Argus" to observe any attempts he might have made to flee.
Catrina Freeman has two children with the Wesseling. "The police raided the house and called her cell phone and said, 'Come get your kids,'" her friend recalled. The toddlers were with the suspect at the time of the raid, sending Freeman into a panic. "That's all I wanted right now, my kids. That's all I wanted to get. My kids," she told ABC7 News. Catrina got her kids and the cops eventually got their man.
The chopper was a major tool that provided the ground units with much-needed visual support from above, an action made possible by a $10,000 donation from a non-profit consumer alliance group. "We were able to make our helicopter fly because of that fuel donation," Watson said.
To give you an idea of how far that $10,000 will go, it will be enough for 80 hours of fuel flight time. 50 hours of flight fuel time were used for the Occupy protests. The money will also aid in tactical operations similar to the one in which Wesseling was arrested. To give you an idea of how badly the money was needed, OPD hasn't flown the chopper full-time since 2009.