Rural standoff ends in arrest



Stand-off suspect is herded into a patrol car by police SWAT and sheriff's officers following the end to a prolonged confrontation on Locher Road off Stateline Road Friday morning. December 2, 2011


SWAT team members prepare to break out an attic window during stand-off on Locher Road Friday morning. The suspect was hiding in the attic and was arrested shortly afterwards. December 2, 2011

TOUCHET -- An overnight standoff south of the Whitman Mission National Historic Site ended with a suspect in custody this morning.

"This began as a warrant service last evening. ... we had reason to believe he was armed," Walla Walla County Sheriff John Turner said this morning at the scene at 743 Locher Road, which is between Frog Hollow and Stateline roads a short distance from the Oregon line.

The standoff started around 7:30 p.m. on Thursday when deputies tried to serve an arrest warrant for Rueben J. Lopez, 30, who allegedly violated a restraining order. Lopez responded by barricading himself in a room, according to sheriff's Capt. Barry Blackman.

A SWAT team arrived around 4 a.m. today and entered the house shortly after 9 a.m.. Officers found Lopez in the attic.

Lopez was apprehended without deployment of Tasers or chemicals, Blackman said.

When officers initially served the warrant, the owner of the house, Ronda Chapman, was inside with a number of children, who exited overnight.

"We were able to get them out safely," Turner said.


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