Man taken into custody after SWAT standoff at SE Harris County apartment complex, deputies say
HOUSTON – A southeast Harris County neighborhood was brought to a standstill by the actions of one man, according to investigators.
Police say 32-year-old Arturo Freddy Garza caused a standoff with the Houston Police Department's SWAT team Tuesday after terrorizing residents inside the Patricia Manor Apartments on Patricia Lane near I-45 and Woodridge Drive.
Barbara Diaz Martinez said Garza had been squatting in the apartment across from her for several days when he attacked her mother Tuesday morning with a concrete block.
"The guy had hit her with a concrete rock on the back of the head," said Diaz Martinez. "A little bit more and he would've knocked her out completely."
After making several complaints to apartment management, Precinct 6 deputy constables called out the Houston Police Department when Garza went back into the apartment and refused to exit.
"We set up a perimeter, continued to negotiate with him over the public address system and by loud voice commands," said Sgt. James DeMartin. "When he declined to come out, we made a notification to the SWAT team."
A few dozen SWAT officers, K-9 units and others descended on the scene. They had their guns drawn with Garza's apartment in their sights.
Police said no shots were fired, but after a loud banging noise, SWAT officers rushed toward the apartment and within minutes, Garza was wheeled away on a stretcher to the cheers of a few in the crowd.
Barbara Diaz Martinez also was thankful but still has concerns.
"If he gets a short sentence, he knows where we're at," she says. "Retaliation's going to be always on our mind."
Garza has a lengthy criminal record dating back to 2002, including charges of making a terroristic threat, evading arrest and possession of marijuana.
He now faces charges of robbery and injury to an elderly person.
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