PORTERVILLE, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A six-hour SWAT standoff took place in Porterville on Monday after a report of a man chasing someone with a knife resulted in the suspect barricading himself in a garage, according to police.
Officers say they were called around 5:45 p.m. to the 800 block of South Cottage Street about a suspect chasing someone with a knife. Officers arrived and determined that the suspect had hit one of the victims with a metal pipe and threatened to kill them. In that time, the man identified as the suspect had fled into a detached garage.
When officers entered the garage, they say the suspect attempted to assault them with an improvised weapon similar to nun chucks. He was also armed with a metal pipe. Officers then began negotiations with the suspect and SWAT responded to the scene. After he refused to surrender, police say SWAT used a diversionary device coupled with tear gas to distract the suspect long enough for operators to enter the garage and take him into custody.
The suspect, 46-year-old Robert Helsley, was taken to the hospital for treatment and later booked into the Tulare County Detention Facility on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats, and other charges.