A busy street in front of the Capitol building turned into a parking lot for fire engines, police cars and an armored SWAT truck for most of Monday afternoon.
At 1:45 p.m., a gray Mazda had stopped, facing the Capitol, with a man who police said “barricaded himself inside.”
“All the windows were taped up so you couldn’t see inside,” said Danny Merkley of the California Farm Bureau, who was walking to a meeting. “The windows had signs on ‘em that looked like it was anti-police officers, anti-cop type stuff and then there was writing on the car itself, too, to that effect.”
The car had rags, or a maybe a wire, running from the gas tank to the trunk and a smiley face drawn on the bumper. Police worried the car could try to make a getaway.
CHP evacuated a few offices on the north side of the Capitol and lawmakers called an early end to their day. Ultimately, a man in a tanktop opened the door and put his hands in the air to be arrested. Bomb squad robots then rooted through the car, pulling out strings of paper flags and a tennis racket.
-Ben Bradford / Capital Public Radio
Update 9:24 p.m. L Street has been re-opened after today's standoff. The Sacramento Police Department says the area is now safe for pedestrian and vehicle traffic.
Update 8:16 p.m. A bomb squad is currently working to render safe a "suspicious device" found in the vehicle of a man who was taken into custody after a police standoff near the state Capitol this afternoon.
The man barricaded himself in his car for two hours before emerging. The Sacramento Police Department says closures will remain in place in the area until the vehicle is safely removed.
Update 5:30 p.m. Sacramento police have arrested a man who drew a large police response to the California state Capitol this afternoon. He parked a suspicious car across three lanes of traffic on a street adjacent to the Capitol. The man initially refused to respond to police but eventually emerged from the car after two hours.
Capital Public Radio’s Ben Bradford is at the scene and says two police robots are searching the car.
“There’s a larger, kind of stick-like robot that was reaching in and taking things out – took out a party-colored flag, and what looked like a tennis racket and maybe the handlebars to a bicycle. And then opened up the other door, and the two robots have slowly just been looking in and reaching in and taking things out of the car.”
The state Assembly adjourned its session early this afternoon as a precaution, as the chamber is on the side of the Capitol affected by the standoff. But all other hearings and sessions continued uninterrupted.
Update 4:34 p.m. A man who blocked traffic and drew a massive police response to the California state Capitol is now in custody.
The man parked his car across three lanes of traffic and refused to follow police commands or leave his car for well over an hour.
Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford reports from the scene:
"They brought in an armored truck and then SWAT gear, and then spent over two hours trying to talk to the driver – talking to him over megaphones, trying to give him cell phones that he could talk to them on – and essentially get him out of there. And then right about 4 p.m., the man left the car and they handcuffed him and they brought him into custody.”
Authorities closed off several blocks of L Street, which runs adjacent to the Capitol.
Police are now using a robot to search the car.
Update 4:08 p.m. The man who barricaded himself in a car parked in the middle of L Streets across from the Capitol emerged with his hands up and is now in police custody.
UPDATE: Male subj detained from vehicle without incident. Trf closures will remain in effect until veh is safely removed.— Sacramento Police (@SacPolice) April 18, 2016
Man barricaded in car emerges with his hands up. https://t.co/PQzMFJVrCU— CapRadio News (@CapRadioNews) April 18, 2016
Update 3:47 p.m. Police vehicles have moved to block the silver Mazda parked in the middle of L Street. The car is covered in writing with paper hanging out the windows. The driver has been unresponsive to police commands.
Police cars have moved to the middle of the street, behind the armored car. It would be hard for the driver to go up L now— Ben Bradford (@JBenBradford) April 18, 2016
Update 3:22 p.m. Capital Public Radio's Ben Adler reports the California Assembly has adjourned due to the close proximity to the standoff.
CA Assembly adjourned floor session early today as recommended by Asm Sgt-at-Arms due to chamber's proximity to L St police standoff.— Ben Adler (@adlerben) April 18, 2016
Police think they may clear the street around the capitol another block up to 13th. Worried the driver could try to drive up L.— Ben Bradford (@JBenBradford) April 18, 2016
Update 3:18 p.m. Sacramento Police have called for precautionary evacuations in place on the North side of L Street, between 10th and 12th Streets. Sacramento SWAT and negotiators are on scene to help with the incident.
Authorities are dealing with a driver parked in the road, blocking traffic and not responding to commands.
UPDATE: Precautionary evacuations in place on north side of L St between 10th St - 12th St.— Sacramento Police (@SacPolice) April 18, 2016
Original Post: Authorities say that a traffic stop has turned into a standoff near the Capitol Monday afternoon.
Officials told Capital Public Radio that a driver refused to comply with demands from police officers to get out of the vehicle.
A portion of L Street near 11th Street has been shut down. Authorities are advising that people stay away from the area.
SWAT and negotiators are on scene. The California Highway Patrol is also assisting in the situation.
car has a sign in the front and blackout tinting. Is parked across lanes of L street near 11th.— Bob Moffitt (@BobMoffitt) April 18, 2016
.@sacpolice Traffic stop has turned into a standoff near the Capitol. Driver refuses to comply w demands.SWAT on the way and CHP assisting— Bob Moffitt (@BobMoffitt) April 18, 2016
SPD SWAT and negotiators on scene to assist with incident.— Sacramento Police (@SacPolice) April 18, 2016
L street closed at 15th St downtown. Police and fire units working suspicious stopped vehicle. Find alternate routes pic.twitter.com/UByGYs86Xo— SacFire PIO (@SacFirePIO) April 18, 2016
SPD on scene of a barricaded subj in a car at 11th/L St. L Street traffic impacted, remain out of area until further notice.— Sacramento Police (@SacPolice) April 18, 2016
- Capital Public Radio Staff