BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A man is behind bars following a lengthy standoff in Central Bakersfield. Police say a local man barricaded himself inside his home Thursday morning after wounding a police officer and setting his yard on fire. Bakersfield Police were called to assist firefighters at Tollhouse Drive near South Liggett Street at about 1 a.m. Thursday for reports of a man setting fires. That’s near Highway 58 and Highway 204. When they arrived, officers found 34-year-old Alexander Fuentes holding what appeared to be a gun.
“Determined that the possible weapon was a pellet gun, after an officer was shot in the head with it,” said Bakersfield Police Sgt. Robert Pair. “He received minor injury.”
Police say Fuentes then ran into his house with multiple weapons, starting fires in his yard and dragging police into a standoff that lasted nearly nine hours. Isador Cruz was next door when it happened.
“Alexander next door, he started shooting at the next door neighbors with a pellet gun,” said Cruz. “About 20 minutes later, we started smelling smoke.”
Cruz says the flames shot 20 feet into the air, scorching Fuentes’ yard and parts of the house.
“He came out and his arms were on fire,” said Cruz. “Then later you heard a small explosion in the back where the flames were.”
BPD says negotiators tried to convince Fuentes to surrender but he wouldn’t stop. Video shows heavily armed SWAT officers waiting to make an arrest.
“Officers asked me, ‘can we go through your yard?’ They started popping boards out,” said Cruz.
First responders say they arrested Fuentes at 10 a.m. Thursday, and no one was injured. Cruz says he’s known Fuentes and his family for years.
“I know he has mental issues, he has in the past,” said Cruz. “I’m happy for his family that he’s not shot. I just hope he gets the help he should be getting.”
Fuentes was booked into the Kern County Jail, with bail set at $70,000. He faces felony charges for assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest.