Man surrenders to SWAT team, ending standoff in SLO

Neighbors applaud when officers bring the wanted man down and remove his mask

mfountain@thetribunenews.comMay 21, 2014 

A man wanted by police barricaded himself in a home on Stenner Street in San Luis Obispo on Wednesday but surrendered to SWAT officers after a 90-minute standoff.

The incident prompted Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center to order a lockdown of its ancillary offices on nearby Casa Street until the situation was resolved.

The incident began just after 2 p.m. as the San Luis Obispo County Gang Task Force was conducting surveillance of the home on the 100 block of Stenner Street. Police were looking for Austin James Ross, 29, of Grover Beach, who had a warrant out for his arrest from Pismo Beach, said San Luis Obispo police Lt. Jeff Smith.

Smith said Ross briefly emerged from the home and then quickly went back inside. Ross did not respond to demands from task force members to come back outside. Ross has a criminal history and was known to carry a weapon in the past, so the San Luis Obispo County Regional SWAT Team was called in, Smith said.

Ross eventually emerged wearing a rubber face mask and with his hands in the air. Neighbors watching from their porches in the predominantly student neighborhood erupted in applause as officers brought Ross to the ground and removed his mask.

“This was a positive resolution,” Smith said.

Ross was booked into San Luis Obispo County Jail on suspicion of felony auto theft, though more charges could be filed by the District Attorney’s Office. He was being held in lieu of $110,000 bail Wednesday night, according to jail logs.

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