San Diego

Suspect Held Man at Knifepoint, Told Him to Call Cops in City Heights: PD

A gas station clerk in City Heights was held at knifepoint, trapped with his captor for half an hour while police surrounded them Tuesday.

"Unfortunately that's the truth but it is. It's another day in City Heights where something crazy happens," witness Burkley Hoang said while describing the moment officers moved in to arrest the suspect.

The incident began at approximately 6:50 p.m. Tuesday on Orange Avenue, San Diego Police (SDPD) said.

The suspect, identified to be 56-years old, came into the USA Gas station and held the 30-year old clerk hostage in the booth, police said. 

When police arrived, they saw the clerk with his hands up as the suspect held him at knifepoint. 

The booth was a secure area and it was difficult for officers to easily get inside, police said, so they began negotiating with the suspect. 

“All he was doing was threatening to harm the clerk," said SDPD Lt. Steve Behrendt.

At one point, the clerk noticed the suspect loosen his grip on the knife, so he tried grabbing the knife.  The suspect kicked the clerk out, and that's when police went in with a K-9 unit, Behrendt told NBC 7.

Police said the suspect was combative. 

The suspect has since been arrested and faces several charges, including false imprisonment and assault with a deadly weapon.

Behrendt said the clerk was very shaken up from the incident and was transported to UCSD Hospital as a precaution.

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