|Suspect in standoff with police|
A suspect inside mobile home on Virginia Drive and 25th St. is refusing to respond to Yuma Police. Police say he's wanted for questioning in an assault and attempted sexual assault.
|Suspect in custody|
A suspect who locked himself in his residence a
|Standoff suspect in court|
Chad Diener is being held on two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of aggravated assault an adult on a minor. Judge Stewart told Diener he is accused attacking a woman and her child with a box cutter.
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Standoff suspect makes initial appearance in court
The Yuma man arrested after a five-hour standoff with police at a mobile home park made his initial appearance in Justice Court Tuesday afternoon.
Yuma Justice of the Peace Greg Stewart informed 36-year-old Chad Diener that he was being held on two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of aggravated assault on an adult and on a minor. Stewart told Diener he is accused of attacking a woman and her child with a box cutter.
Stewart also explained to Diener that he would be returning to court on Thursday, at which time he would be told if prosecutors had filed a criminal complaint against him, charging him with any of the offenses.
Diener spoke during his brief court hearing, but not before Stewart advised him of his right to remain silent and to be presumed not guilty in the case. He added that he would not allow him to make any statements regarding the charges he was facing, saying it would not be in his best interest.
"I’m mentally ill and I don’t think I could stay here under a bond, so it is within that jurisdiction of why I do wish to be released to the CIA, which I am under their caretaker and giver," Diener said. "I have been in here before. My lawyer has instructed the county that I can’t stay inside a detention center."
Prosecutor Levi Gunderson of the Yuma County Attorney’s Office asked the judge to set Diener’s bond at $400,000, saying he believed that he was a danger to the community and a flight risk.
"The basic allegations regarding the aggravated assault with a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon, is that it was a box cutter. A third-party witness gave a written statement that he saw the defendant with a knife," Gunderson said. "The victim, who was an adult female, had a number of injuries that she received that were long, thin scratches, that were consistent with the allegation that it was a box cutter."
Gunderson told the court that an 8-year-old boy was also involved in the incident but was not injured. He said although he did not know all the details in the case yet, it seems as though the boy may have thrown something at Diener.
"In addition, this defendant had a standoff with law enforcement where he was inside his apartment for a number of hours refusing to come out," Gunderson said. "Eventually they had to enter his apartment by force to secure his arrest."
A victim’s advocate from Amberly’s Place spoke during the brief court hearing, saying the victim was fearful of Diener, not only for herself but for her son as well, and was asking the court to set the highest possible bond amount that it could.
Yuma police responded to 2550 S. Virginia Drive at about 7 p.m. Monday for a report of an aggravated assault. Officers learned that Diener allegedly approached a 40-year-old woman while making sexual comments.
According to police, when the woman refused to talk with Diener about his remarks, he became agitated. At that point, police say, the woman’s 8-year-old son tried to get Diener to leave them alone. Diener began to wave a box cutter at the child.
Police say the mother jumped between her son and Diener and was knocked to the ground. During the assault, she received non-life-threatening injuries from the blade and from strikes delivered from Diener. Witnesses chased Diener to a nearby residence and stood by until officers arrived.
Once officers arrived on scene, they established a perimeter, closing off all north and southbound traffic on Virginia Drive from the 2500 block to the 2600 block and evacuated several homes near the southeast corner of the Yuma home park.
Diener refused to come out of the home. Officers could be heard warning Diener over a loudspeaker system that if he didn’t come out, a canine officer would be sent in, saying, "He will find you and he will bite you."
Finally at about 1 a.m., members of Yuma Police Department’s Special Enforcement Team entered the home by breaking a front window and took Diener into custody.
James Gilbert can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.