A SWAT stand-off usually means a serious incident.
One happened Sunday night at a Shell gas station in Modesto, which was no exception.
Lt. Rick Armendariz with Modesto Police said the suspect was armed with a chain and brandished the weapon toward an employee and an officer.
The incident started around 6:00pm and wrapped up around 11:00pm. During that time is when something unusual started to happen, but it had nothing to do with the actual stand-off.
Almost 100 people were out along the crime tape, cell phones in hand, to watch what was happening. It looked almost like they were watching a TV show or waiting to catch a glimpse of a celebrity.
Armendariz has seen it before, though he was surprised how many people were out given how cold it was. “This is a main thoroughfare,” he said, “I can understand why people would be attracted to seeing an event unfold before their eyes.”
The most unusual part of the whole incident happened as the suspect, who police believe was under the influence of drugs, was being put into an ambulance; the crowd began booing the suspect.
The reason it’s strange is that I have never seen that happen at the end of a stand-off. Normally, there is silence, occasionally clapping, maybe a cheer but never booing.
The reaction can say a lot about how blurred the line between fiction-entertainment and reality has become.
Even though this was a very serious stand-off Amendariz assures the spectators were always safe. “We knew he was isolated so there wasn’t an imminent threat,” he said.