- Special Sections
A seven-hour standoff in Bishopâ€™s Shady Rest Trailer Park between a suicidal man and police came to an end Sunday night with the resident being taken down with a beanbag round.
Arnold Patzkowski, 56, was taken to Northern Inyo Hospital for evaluation and placed under arrest. He is being charged with allegedly making criminal threats and making criminal threats against a police officer.
The end of the standoff also ended a road closure for Yaney and Hanby streets and a mandatory evacuation order for the other residents of Shady Rest.
According to Bishop Police Sergeant Dan Nolan, authorities were called at about 1 p.m. Sunday and notified that there was a potentially suicidal subject at Shady Rest refusing to open his door for friends.
When police officers arrived at the scene, Nolan said Patzkowsk claimed to have a weapon and said he would shoot any officer who attempted to enter his home.
Because officers were threatened with violence, the Inyo County Special Enforcement Division, the local equivalent of a SWAT Team that includes Bishop PD, California Highway Patrol and the Inyo County Sheriffâ€™s Department, was dispatched to the scene at about 1:30 p.m.
The SED closed East Yaney and Hanby streets at the intersections of Spruce street and evacuated the Shady Rest Trailer Park and the east end of East Yaney Street via the CodeRED reverse 911 system at about 2 p.m. The road closures and evacuations remained in effect until about 8:30 p.m. Sunday night.
With nowhere else to go, many residents who were evacuated remained at the scene until about 4:30 p.m., when they were transported via Eastern Sierra Transit to the Bishop Senior Center, where they were fed and given hotel vouchers.
They were allowed to return to their homes at about 8:30 p.m.
Nolan said officers with the SED were in steady contact with Patzkowski for much of the day, â€śbut what we ended up doing is, ultimately, negotiations broke down and we entered the residenceâ€ť by removing the door. Nolan said that upon officers entering the home at about 8:20 p.m., Patzkowski was combative. â€śHe wouldnâ€™t cooperate and do what we were telling him to.â€ť
Officers subdued Patzkowski with a non-lethal beanbag shot and took him into custody without further incident.
Nolan said Patzkowski was cleared at NIH of injuries from the beanbag Sunday night, but was kept overnight and taken to Inyo County Jail Monday.
Authorities are waiting on toxicology results to determine whether Patzkowski was on medication or under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
Nolan said officers had responded to a domestic dispute call involving Patzkowski, a convicted felon, Saturday evening.
But neither law enforcementâ€™s prior contact with Patzkowski, nor his criminal background, contributed to Sundayâ€™s large-scale response.
â€śAs a call progresses, we look into the background of the subject, but initially, the protocol is the same,â€ť Nolan said. â€śWe would handle a call like this the same way whether the subject has a violent past or not.â€ť
Nolan added that nearby residents were evacuated as a precaution and no weapons were found in Patzkowskiâ€™s possession upon his arrest.
Many of the residents who were evacuated were growing restless at about 4:30 p.m. when ESTA arrived to take them to the Senior Center, and some complained that they were not permitted to return to their homes to check on pets or retrieve medication. Ultimately, officers compiled a list of necessities from residents, and retrieved what they could.
At least one resident was unable to leave her home at the Shady Rest Trailer Park due to advanced age and medical issues. She remained in her home until about 5 p.m. when EMTs with Symonâ€™s Ambulance removed her from the home.
Nolan said no officers or bystanders were injured in the standoff.