A Livingston man suspected of being on drugs as he made delusional claims there was a bomb in his pickup prompted a Friday evening standoff with Ceres Police at the downtown Ceres Shell station Friday. The incident ended safely with his arrest hours later.
Ceres Police later said that Armando Delacruz, 31, of Livingston, had no bomb in his car.
The incident began shortly after 8:30 p.m. Friday when Delacruz pulled into the Shell station at El Camino and Fourth Street near Highway 99 and called 911 to report being chased by someone shooting at him. When officers arrived, they found Delacruz sitting in a white Chevy pickup parked at the gas island. Officer Christian Izquierdo heard Delacruz say there was a bomb in his vehicle and that it would explode if he got out. Izquierdo ordered for Delacruz to remain seated and requested backup officers who then asked Delacruz to step out and walk back to them. Delacruz yelled repeated claims that he could not get out of the vehicle because of a bomb which they later found did not exist.
Police evacuated nearby businesses and called in the Stanislaus County Sheriff Department’s Explosive Ordinance Detail as the area was cordoned off with the help of the Stanislaus County Sheriff Department and California Highway Patrol. To keep the vehicle from being moved, armored SWAT vehicles from the Sheriff’s and Ceres Police departments were positioned around the pickup.
Police communicated to the Livingston man through the PA system and believed that Delacruz’s irrational speech was most likely caused by being under the influence of a controlled substance. Police were increasingly convinced that the story was the product of drug-induced delusions. Over the next hour he refused to comply with multiple commands to exit the pickup.
Police used shoot pepper balls to force Delacruz out of the pickup. He rolled out of his vehicle onto the ground and was taken into custody.
Once the pickup was checked by the bomb squad robot and cleared, officers completed a more comprehensive search. No explosives or weapons were found and the scene was declared safe at 11 p.m.
Delacruz was checked medically after being taken into custody. He was cleared medically and was later booked into the Public Safety Center on charges of being under the influence of drugs, reporting a false bomb threat and possession of drug paraphernalia.