Newark motel standoff ends peacefully

September 16, 2012 5:49:44 PM PDT
There was a tense standoff at a Motel 6 in Newark Sunday, when a man barricaded himself in a room with his pregnant girlfriend for several hours.

The Motel 6 on Mowry Avenue near Interstate 880 was basically shut down for about five hours. Three swat teams were called in, but fortunately the situation did not escalate. It all ended safely when a police negotiator convinced the suspect to come out of his room. Both he and his girlfriend, who was unharmed, exited the room with their hands up.

Police tell ABC7 News the incident started after California Highway Patrol ran a license plate of a car at the motel, and quickly connected the car to a wanted suspect, "We're not giving his name at this time, involved in some sort of a use of the vehicle in a pursuit, and possibly using the vehicle to endanger the community and possibly an officer," Newark police commander Tom Milner said.

Several of the man's family members showed up at the motel and were able to talk with the suspect as he sat in the back of a patrol car. His grandmother told ABC7 News off-camera that his name is Eric Joseph Ontiveros Jr., and that they came to the motel to encourage him to give up peacefully.

When asked if police suspected the man was armed and dangerous, Milner said, "Ah yes, looking at the totality of the circumstances, and some previous contacts, we were heightened, to the point where we activated our special weapons and tactics unit."

Police say that because he is wanted for possibly using a car to assault a police officer, and because he may have a parole violation, they called in back up from the Union City and Fremont swat teams.

They also believed a child might have been in the room with him. But in the end there was no child, only his pregnant girlfriend.

About a dozen other motel guests were able to return after being locked out during the standoff, "I woke up this morning and went around the premises of the area and there were numerous police officers, some with machine guns, so it was pretty serious," motel guest Zachery Wendling said.

The suspect was arrested and is now in police custody. Officials have not yet said if they found any weapons in the motel room.


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