TEMECULA: Deputies save elderly woman after man sets fire to home during barricaded standoff

TEMECULA — Officials arrested a man after he allegedly barricaded himself in a bedroom with an elderly woman and set fire to the residence, Friday afternoon, Dec 29. The bizarre incident happened at a two-story residence on the 32000 block of Corte Carmona, south of Pauba Road and west of Meadows Parkway, in Temecula.

A 26-year-old man was arrested after allegedly barricading himself inside an upstairs bedroom while holding an elderly woman hostage, Friday afternoon. William Hayes photo

Deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Temecula Police Station responded to a 911 call reporting a man acting in a bizarre and erratic manner, who could be heard screaming for help at 12:08 p.m., Sergeant Robert Menchaca explained after the incident.

When deputies arrived at the home, they learned a 26-year-old man had barricaded himself in the upstairs master bedroom with an elderly female.

Despite deputies’ presence, the man, who has not yet been identified by officials refused to release the victim, exit the bedroom or follow commands given by the officials.

When deputies attempted to get the alleged suspect to open the door to the bedroom, the man reportedly set fire to the master bathroom.

Fearing for the safety of the elderly woman, deputies forced the bedroom door open and made entry into the burning bedroom, at which time the man broke one of the bedroom’s upstairs window and fled from the deputies and the growing fire inside the bedroom by jumping from the bedroom onto the roof.

Deputies successfully rescued the elderly victim and led her from the burning house to safety.

Even as the residence became engulfed in flames, the man who allegedly started the fire refused to cooperate and remained on the roof of the burning home.

A deputy attempts to control a man officials say set fire to a home during a barricaded stand off situation. William Hayes photo

While the alleged suspect paced around on the burning roof of the home deputies tried to convince the man to come down while firefighters attempted to prepare battling the growing blaze.

During the crisis, a sheriff’s helicopter was seen circling overhead, while providing updates to deputies on the ground.

Deputies eventually managed to apprehend the suspect and he was transported to an area hospital for treatment of injuries he sustained during the incident. Officials did not specify the nature or extent of the man’s injuries.

He will be booked into jail after he is treated and released from the hospital, according to Menchaca.

After the man was in custody, Cal Fire/Riverside County firefighters extinguished the blaze.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact the Temecula Police Department at (951) 696-3000. Callers can refer to incident file number TE173630080 and can remain anonymous. Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s CrimeTips online form.

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Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

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Trevor Montgomery, who recently moved from Riverside County to Shasta County, runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers Valley News, The Valley Chronicle and Anza Valley Outlook as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 27 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 14 grandchildren.