SWAT standoff ends in arrest of Ramona man
A 42-year-old Ramona man is scheduled to be arraigned in Superior Court in El Cajon at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, in connection with a 7-1/2 hour SWAT operation that ended about 6 a.m. Monday.
Lawrence “Steve” Monterastelli is being held on $255,000 bail and faces charges of felony spousal abuse, assault with a deadly weapon, negligent discharge of a firearm, dissuading a witness and child endangerment, reported sheriff’s Detective Aaron Dabbs.
According to the sheriff’s account of the incident, Ramona sheriff’s deputies received a report of a domestic dispute at 2766 Luelf St. in the Holly Oaks development about 10:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 11. A 38-year-old Ramona woman, who had run to a neighbor’s home, told officers that Monterastelli, her boyfriend, had become enraged and attempted to strangle her. During the altercation, Monterastelli allegedly grabbed a loaded 9 mm handgun and pointed it at the victim, threatening to kill her and her two children, ages 9 and 12.
The woman ran from the home to the neighbor’s to call for help. Neighbors called 911 and reported hearing shots being fired.
Ramona deputies surrounded the home and called the sheriff’s Special Enforcement Detail (SWAT) and the sheriff’s Hostage Negotiation Team for assistance. Deputies established communication with the children, who subsequently left the residence without incident, Dabbs reported.
Monterastelli went inside a recreation vehicle on the property and refused to surrender. SWAT officers fired tear gas into the vehicle and the suspect was taken into custody.
Law enforcement and fire department officials were at the scene overnight, and neighbors reported hearing a helicopter circling the neighborhood off Southern Oaks and Dye roads all night.
Detectives from the sheriff’s Domestic Violence Unit continued the investigation Monday afternoon, reported Dabbs.
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