A 33-year-old man remained at the hospital Tuesday morning following an hourslong standoff with Anaheim police that involved him allegedly threatening to have a bomb and attacking a K-9.
Robert Lee Preston, a Tustin resident, was first spotted by officers around 6:45 p.m. Monday walking away from a stolen car parked near State College Boulevard and Katella Avenue, according to the Anaheim Police Department.
The agency described Preston as a “murder” parolee, but court database only shows felony records for an attempted murder, a burglary and a robbery that occurred in October 2006. He was sentenced in 2008 to nine years in state prison for the attempted murder charge, according to court records. Police did not provide further details about his criminal history.
On Monday evening, when the officers tried communicating with Preston, he ran to a nearby apartment and holed up in the unit’s patio, the agency said.
“Preston told officers he was in possession of a bomb and a handgun, and that he would die before going back to jail,” the Police Department said.
This prompted authorities to evacuate a multistory apartment complex and block traffic on Katella Avenue for three hours.
A SWAT team and a bomb squad responded to the scene. When negotiation with Preston failed, police deployed a K-9.
“When the K-9 got close to him, Preston assaulted the K-9 by punching, kicking and choking it,” the Police Department said.
Officers eventually managed to detain Preston, the agency tweeted at 9:38 p.m. No shots were fired at any point, the Police Department added.
Two knives, along with two replica handguns that “look[ed] very real,” were recovered from the scene, police said. No explosive devices were found.
Other than the K-9, which suffered minor injuries, nobody was hurt during the standoff.
As of 8 a.m. Tuesday, Preston was still being treated at the hospital, police spokesman Jeff Mundy told KTLA.
Upon discharge, Preston will be booked into the Anaheim Detention Facility for a no-bail parole violation warrant. He’ll also be booked on suspicion of auto theft, possession of stolen property and resisting arrest.
These are the weapons recovered from the suspect. Again, great restraint shown by the personnel involved. Thanks to @OCSheriff and @AnaheimFire for assisting. No explosive devices were located. The handguns are fake, but look VERY real. The knives are real pic.twitter.com/APjGlePPmw
— Anaheim PD (@AnaheimPD) March 19, 2019