Reporting Laura Cole
YUBA COUNTY (CBS13) — A car chase and then standoff in a ditch required the assistance of a SWAT team in Yuba County on Monday afternoon.
The chase ended with the suspect running for a tree and taking cover in a ditch, triggering a two-hour standoff.
“This was an extremely dangerous situation,” said Yuba County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Lt. Damon Gil.
The suspect, identified as 36-year-old Dewayne Nelson of Olivehurst, surrendered but not before investigators say he threatened to kill himself or someone else.
“He made all kinds of movements,” Gil said. “He held the gun to his head on several occasions,” Gil said, “and made statements threatening officers on scene and himself.”
The sheriff’s department says two men were in a black SUV, the driver and the suspect. And when deputies tried to pull the car over detectives say the suspect pulled out a gun and told the driver to keep driving.
The chase lasted two miles and ended in the river bottoms area of Linda across the Yuba River from Marysville.
Lesa Johnston and her family had just pulled into the river bottoms to ride go carts.
“And then all of a sudden the SUV came flying down and then we realized it’s a car chase,” she told CBS13′s Laura Cole. “So we all piled in the back of our car right here. He got out of the car and he had a gun and he was walking towards the bushes and then he stopped turned around and put the gun to his head.”
And that’s when the family realized they had to run for it.
“So we one by one ran over the levee while the guy had a gun to his head right here and then we were stuck way over here for about two hours,” Johnston said.
SWAT moved in and finally a shirtless, heavily tattooed Nelson gave up, but not before leaving the Johnston family shaken.
“It was more like a hysterical scary I think,” said one of Lesa’s daughters. “You didn’t really want to believe it.”
The weapon turned out to be a pellet gun but Nelson, who was wanted on a parolee violation, faces multiple charges.