Canine Tackles Suspect After Hours-Long Standoff

A nearly five-hour standoff at a Chula Vista hotel ended dramatically Tuesday night as the suspect darted between SWAT team members and was taken down by a police dog. 

Earlier that evening, neighbors reported Garry Romero, 26, was going door-to-door, armed with a knife and trying to get into apartments, according to Chula Vita Police.

He got into a physical fight with one resident, who told police Romero tried to take his wallet. By the time officers arrived, they learned the suspect had gone into the El Primero Boutique and Hotel at 416 3rd Avenue at about 5:45 p.m.

The manager of the hotel was checking someone in when he saw the suspect jump a fence to get inside. He and others went outside when the knife-wielding Romero entered the lobby, police say. The CVPD believe he was under the influence of drugs.

Police got hotel guests out while a SWAT team began to surround the hotel at about 8 p.m. They called to the suspect on their bullhorn, trying to persuade him to come out peacefully. 

At about 9:30 p.m., the SWAT team moved in as a growing crowd looking on. Police say the man escaped the hotel by diving through a glass window, and officers tried shoot bean bag rounds and a Taser at him, though they had little to no effect.

Romero was soon spotted running in front of the hotel and trying to dodge SWAT team members. 

However, he was not fast enough to escape a police canine, which tackled him and bit him. The suspect was taken into custody as the waiting crowd cheered. 

Romero was treated at a hospital for multiple injuries he received during the standoff. Police say he will be charged with multiple felonies when he is released to the jail.

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