Man arrested in Nipomo standoff after allegedly threatening girlfriend with a meat cleaver

An Arroyo Grande man was arrested Friday night after allegedly threatening his fiancé with a meat cleaver and then barricading himself inside a home for six hours, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office.

Shortly after 1 p.m., deputies responded to a report of a woman who said her fiancé threatened her with a knife and was destroying property in a home in the 100 block of Old Summit Road in rural Arroyo Grande, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release.

The woman was able to run outside the home, where she called the Sheriff’s Office, according to the release.

The man, 52-year-old Brian Louis Garzoli, retreated back inside the home when deputies arrived on scene. He was the only person inside the home at that time.

Deputies set up a perimeter around the house, and SWAT arrived on scene. The CHP was called to assist in closing the section of Thompson Road and direct traffic from Highway 101, a CHP spokesperson said.

Sheriff’s negotiators began trying to contact Garzoli, who had barricaded himself inside the home. Negotiators used a public address system as well as cell phone contact to attempt to coax Garzoli into giving up peacefully, according to the release.

After repeated attempts to have Garzoli come out of the house, SWAT initiated a chemical agent into the home to force Garzoli outside.

At approximately 7 p.m., Garzoli emerged from the home and was arrested for criminal threats and committing a felony while out on bail. He was booked into County Jail.

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Matt Fountain is The San Luis Obispo Tribune’s courts and investigations reporter. A San Diego native, Fountain graduated from Cal Poly’s journalism department in 2009 and cut his teeth at the San Luis Obispo New Times before joining The Tribune as a crime and breaking news reporter in 2014.