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Man arrested following SWAT standoff

Published: Thursday, May 16 2013 12:49 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — A three-hour standoff came to an end Wednesday night when a SWAT team used tear gas to arrest a barricaded suspect.

The incident began about 8 p.m. when a man kicked in the back door of a four-plex at 390 Navajo St. (1400 West) and forced his way in, said Salt Lake police detective Dennis McGowan. The man knew the people inside but was not invited, he said.

After entering, the man showed the resident "a 357 bullet and told the complainant if he calls the cops he will take the complainant hostage and have a shootout with police," a Salt Lake County Jail report states.

The man claimed he had a gun, but none was seen, McGowan said. Two people inside the house were eventually able to get out safely. Police and a SWAT team were called to surround the residence. About 11:15 p.m., after attempts were made to communicate with the man, tear gas was used and the SWAT team entered and took the man into custody without further incident.

The man had spent most of his time hiding under a mattress, said Salt Lake Police Lt. Josh Scharman.

Jerry Romero, 36, who was wanted for questioning in another incident, was arrested for investigation of aggravated burglary. A motive for breaking into the apartment was unknown. McGowan did not know if Romero was impaired at the time of the incident.

Romero was charged with two counts of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a restricted person in 2012, all third-degree felonies, but the charges were later dismissed, according to state court records.

In 2002, he was convicted of simple assault. He was sentenced to up to five years in the Utah State Prison in 1998 for convictions of evidence tampering and unlawful detention. He pleaded guilty to two counts of simple assault and lewdness in 1996 and was sentenced to jail, according to court records.

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