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Standoff suspect faces five felonies
Five felony charges were filed Wednesday against the Yuma man arrested in Sunday night's nearly five-hour standoff that resulted in the evacuation of a Yuma motel.
In the first of three separate and unrelated criminal complaints filed against him in Yuma Justice Court, Daniel Correa was charged with one count of aggravated assault per domestic violence.
“We have a variety of charges that have been initiated against you,” said Yuma Justice of the Peace Pro Tem Manny Figueroa at the start of the 10-minute arraignment hearing.
Figueroa, in addition to ordering Correa's bond remain at $86,000 in this case, also appointed a public defender to represent him and set his next court date for 4 p.m. Jan. 14.
When asked if he would like to address the court, Correa spoke about having a drug addiction and asked for help in getting treatment.
“These past couple of months have been really hard. I have a drug problem and would like to get some help for that problem and to seek some outreach that will take me in and counsel me to a straight and right future.”
In the second criminal complaint filed against him, Correa was charged with theft of means of transportation, a green 1993 Honda that he was found in Sunday when officers tried to arrest him in a restaurant parking lot. He was also charged with possession of burglary tools.
Figueroa ordered Correa's bond to remain at $50,000 on these charges and again appointed a public defender to represent him. The judge also scheduled his next court on these particular charges for 4 p.m. Jan. 13.
In the third and final criminal complaint, which stems from Sunday night's standoff, Correa was charged with resisting arrest and aggravated assault. His bond was ordered to remain at $50,000, a public defender was appointed. Correa's next court date on these charges will be 4 p.m. Jan. 13.
There was also a fourth case against Correa, but the judge informed him that no criminal complaint had been filed on the charges that were being alleged.
“The prosecutor has not filed a formal complaint on these particular set of charges, therefore I will be issuing a release order on these set of charges. Obviously you still have the other charges pending,” Figueroa said. “On the set of charges that I am issuing an order of release, it doesn't mean the charges are dismissed, it means the state at this particular time has decided not to file charges. If subsequent to today's hearing they decide to file charges, they still have ample time to do so.”
According to Yuma police, the incident began at about 4:30 p.m. Sunday in the parking lot of the Golden Corral, 590 E. 16th St., when an officer with the Arizona Department of Public Safety tried to arrest Correa, who he found sitting in a stolen vehicle in the rear parking lot.
A struggle ensued in which the officer sustained minor injuries to his left leg and arm. Correa then fled the scene on foot, running across 16th Street and into the Super 8 Motel, 1688 S. Riley.
Once inside the motel, according to reports, Correa went up to the third floor and barricaded himself inside Room 332, which was occupied by an adult female.
All the adjoining rooms in the motel were evacuated for the safety of the occupants, and the surrounding streets were closed off to the public as several marked and unmarked police cars set up a perimeter around the area. A negotiator, the department's armored vehicle and the Special Enforcement Team (SET) were also called to the scene.
Negotiators had unsuccessfully tried to contact Correa using a public address system and telephone for several hours. When it became clear the negotiations weren't going to bring about a resolution, the decision was made to enter the room.
At about 9 p.m., the SET unit entered Correa's room by using specially designed explosives to blow open the door. Correa was then taken into custody. The adult female in the room was found uninjured.
Correa was transported to Yuma Regional Medical Center, where he was treated for some minor facial injuries he sustained when police stormed the room.
He was booked into the Yuma County jail a short time later on charges of aggravated assault, resisting arrest, escape and possession of a stolen vehicle.
James Gilbert can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6854.