22-Hour Standoff in Topanga Ends With Woman in Her 70s Being Detained

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A SWAT team responded to the standoff in Topanga on May 21, 2015. (Credit: Keith Holland)

A woman in her 70s who was described as being “tough as nails” was detained Friday, 22 hours after first barricading herself in a Topanga man’s home, waving around a handgun and shooting a police robot, officials said.

The unidentified woman was apprehended and transported to a local hospital for unknown medical treatment early Friday morning, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department stated in a news release.

Although she did not surrender, she was taken into custody without incident, Lt. Jennifer Seetoo said.

The “peaceful resolution” occurred a day after the woman called officials around 5:30 a.m. Thursday for medical assistance and then allegedly brandished a handgun when first responders arrived at the Woodland Park Mobile Estates, located at 4201 Topanga Canyon Blvd. (map), sheriff’s deputies said.

A man claimed he was awoken by a commotion before the woman pointed a firearm at him and forced her way into his home.

“I went back in my yard and I saw a woman point a gun on me,” Gabriel Vahva said. “That’s scary.”

It was unclear if she remained barricaded in his home or her own.

During the lengthy standoff that followed, the woman fired two rounds at a robot that was sent by officials to observe her, and sheriff’s deputies were pictured ordering pizza after some nine hours.

Crisis negotiators and a SWAT team responded, and smoke from tear gas and loud flash-bangs could be seen from the behind police tape Thursday.

The woman was “tough as nails,” according to a sergeant on scene.

Another neighbor described the situation as odd.

“There’s a SWAT team here, bomb squad, armor. This is crazy,” said neighbor Necolas Dicamillo. “The fact that a lady is waving around a gun in this neighborhood is very, very strange.”

Further details regarding the woman being taken into custody were not made available.

Sheriff’s deputies initially said the woman was 70 years old, but later stated that although she was in her 70s, her exact age was unknown.

Anyone with information was asked to contact Sheriff’s Department’s Malibu/Lost Hills Station at 818-878-1808.