Palm Desert

Man Suspected of Assaulting Neighbor Arrested After Standoff in Palm Desert

After a standoff that lasted for hours, an armed man who police believe was involved in assaulting a neighbor in Palm Desert has been arrested.


An hours-long police standoff with an armed man accused of assaulting a neighbor at a Palm Desert apartment building ended with the suspect being arrested, sheriff's officials said Sunday.

Deputies responded to an assault with a deadly weapon call just after 8 a.m. Saturday at the Desert Oasis Apartments on Country Club Drive, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

Authorities said a man who lives in the apartment complex was walking with his son when a neighbor made threatening statements while brandishing a firearm and ultimately assaulted one of them with the firearm.

The suspect fled into his apartment and refused to follow orders from deputies asking him to come out peacefully, according to sheriff's officials.

Nearby residences were evacuated due to safety concerns and a SWAT team entered the suspect's apartment after a search warrant was issued, authorities said.

The suspect, Mario Gonzalez, 42, was found hiding in the attic and was taken into custody.

Gonzalez was taken to a hospital for dehydration and later booked into the John Benoit Detention Center in Indio on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats and resisting arrest.

He was released Sunday after posting $25,000 bail, inmate records show.

A second person -- April De La Riva, 42, of Palm Desert -- was also arrested for allegedly assisting Gonzalez in attempting to evade law enforcement. She was booked into the John Benoit Detention Center on suspicion of being an accessory and resisting, obstructing or delaying an investigation.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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