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Standoff in Tustin approaches eighth hour [Updated]

August 11, 2010 | 11:21 am

An Orange County man angry that his car was being repossessed rammed a tow truck with a vehicle early Wednesday and then barricaded himself inside his home, where he has been locked in a standoff with police for more than seven hours.

[Updated at 2:43 p.m.: The tense police standoff in Tustin has ended, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department. The suspect surrendered peacefully around 1:30 p.m.]

The suspect appears to be unarmed, Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino said, but he is considered a threat because he has a criminal history. The man was arrested last month for brandishing a weapon and making terrorist threats, said Amormino.

Amormino said the man has been standing bare-chested at an open window, taunting and waving at the sheriff's special weapons and tactics team that has circled the home in an unincorporated area near Tustin.

The incident began at 2:45 a.m. Wednesday, when a repossession agent arrived at the man's home in the 17000 block of Norwood Park Place. When the agent began to hook up the man's vehicle to his tow truck, the suspect climbed into a nearby U-Haul and rammed the truck, according to Amormino. There was no one in the tow vehicle, Amormino said.

When police were called, the suspect locked himself in his home. At one point, he tossed a laptop computer onto the lawn and threw other items at a SWAT team robot camera that rolled up toward the window.

Amormino said nearby homes have been evacuated as a precaution. He says officers plan to wait for the man to come out on his own.

"We are still going to keep negotiating," Amormino said. "No matter how long it takes."

-- Kate Linthicum

Photo: Man barricaded in his unincorporated Tustin home. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times