A man caused a disturbance at a marijuana dispensary, police say. The SWAT team was called


A 27-year-old man was taken into police custody in Tulare County after a disturbance at a marijuana dispensary, evading police officers and barricading himself, law enforcement officials say.

The suspect was identified as Christopher Vance of Visalia.

It all went down Friday night.


Woodlake Police Chief Mike Marquez says officers responded to a disturbance around 4:15 p.m. at the only marijuana dispensary in Woodlake, Valley Pure, in the 100 block of North Valencia Boulevard. 

This is the first disturbance of its kind since the dispensary opened in March, Marquez says.

He says officers responded to reports of a subject who was refusing to leave the dispensary.

Vance’s girlfriend told officers he had been acting erratically, which caused officers to be more cautious of their approach.

Upon arrival, Woodlake officers spotted Vance fleeing the dispensary, Marquez says.

Officers attempted a traffic stop, Vance failed to yield and a high-speed chase ensued.

Speeds reached up to 100 mph, Marquez says.

Tulare County deputies, as well as California Highway Patrol officers, joined the chase.

Due to there being high traffic during 5 p.m., the chase was scaled back for the safety of the community, Marquez says.


The chase lead officers to Vance’s apartment in Visalia, where Marquez says the suspect barricaded himself.

SWAT officers from the Visalia Police Department were called out and used chemical agents to apprehend Vance from this apartment.

Visalia Police Department Capt. Brian Winter says the standoff between the Visalia SWAT team and Vance ended just after 8 p.m. at an apartment complex near Campus Avenue and County Center Drive.

The standoff lasted nearly 90 minutes, Winter says.

Vance told police he wasn’t coming out and that’s when SWAT officers activated chemical agents, Winters says.


Marquez says Vance has not been booked into jail, but that he is in police custody.

He could be facing charges of assault on a peace officer and possibly attempted robbery or theft, Marquez says.

He added that Vance has not had a run in with Visalia police officers prior to Friday night.

No weapons were found, Marquez says, adding, there were no shots fired from either Vance or law enforcement.

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