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Domestic dispute leads to police standoff
Special unit retrieves 1-year-old believed to be in danger
BARSTOW • A special police unit retrieved a 1-year-old boy from a Barstow residence early Sunday morning following a three-hour standoff with the boy’s father, according to a Barstow Police press release.
Luis Enrique Espiritu, 21, was arrested and charged with physically assaulting his live-in girlfriend in front of their two children inside the couple’s residence on the 300 block of Forest Avenue, police said.
The victim fled to a neighbor’s house with their 4-year-old son to avoid further attacks after the alleged altercation. Their 1-year-old son remained with Espiritu inside the home.
At approximately 1:52 a.m., police responded to the scene where officers learned that Espiritu was inside the home, allegedly intoxicated and believed to be armed.
Officers made several attempts to contact Espiritu from a marked police vehicle’s public address system with orders to exit the home, police said.
“What we wanted him to do was to come out of his house with his hands up so we could see there wasn’t a gun,” Lt. Mike Hunter said.
Espiritu refused, police said.
Police also attempted unsuccessfully to reach Espiritu on his phone, according to the press release.
The Barstow Police Department’s Special Response Team was called to the location. After several more unsuccessful attempts to contact Espiritu, the team entered the home and located the boy.
The child was found crying and unharmed, police said. Espiritu resisted arrest, but no force other than handcuffing was needed by officers to subdue him, Hunter said.
Espiritu was booked at the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s jail in Barstow and was charged with making criminal threats and willful harm or injury to a child in addition to the domestic violence charge.
“He put the child in immediate and physical danger by not allowing him to leave the residence,” Hunter explained.
The victim received several contusions and lacerations on her face and was treated by emergency medical services near the incident location, according to police.
Several people in the area were evacuated from their homes during the standoff, which lasted until approximately 4:42 a.m., police said.
The case has been sent to the District Attorney’s office for review. Espiritu is due in court Tuesday for the charges, according to court records.
Shea Johnson may be reached at (760) 256-4126 or at SJohnson@DesertDispatch.com.