vote for the best businesses in hollister and san benito county

Standoff comes to peaceful end

A private investigator is being credited with helping Hollister
police end a tense two-hour standoff with a barricaded fugitive who
threatened to kill himself.
A private investigator is being credited with helping Hollister police end a tense two-hour standoff with a barricaded fugitive who threatened to kill himself.

After nearly an hour of negotiations Sunday, Investigator Dennis Stafford talked fugitive Pablo Martin Camacho, 39, out of a heavily barricaded converted garage at 556 Fourth St., police said.

However, Stafford, a former inspector with the San Benito County District Attorney’s office, downplayed his role in convincing Camacho to drop the hunting knife he was holding to his own throat and surrender to police.

“I really didn’t do that much. The police, especially Sgt. Arnie Weathers, handled the situation well and kept it from escalating,” Stafford said. “Had they rushed him or pushed the situation in any way, something bad could have happened.”

Stafford was called to the scene after police allowed Camacho to talk with his attorney, Greg LaForge.

LaForge, who was out of the area, was contacted by Weathers so he could talk to Camacho by cell phone to keep the situation from escalating.

“I realized there wasn’t much I could do from a distance and that he trusted our investigator,” LaForge said.

He also praised the way Weather’s handled the situation.

“Sgt. Weathers did a great job in allowing us to talk to my client and allowing us access, which avoided a potentially deadly situation,” LaForge said.

Camacho was wanted by authorities on a $100,000 felony arrest warrant from Santa Clara County for various drug-related charges, said officials from the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department.

San Jose police were also looking for Camacho in connection with a domestic violence case on Saturday in San Jose, police said.

Acting on a tip from a confidential informant, Hollister police and San Benito County sheriff’s deputies arrived at 556 Fourth St. where they reportedly discovered Camacho about 8 a.m. hiding in an adjoining garage that was converted to living quarters, police said.

As police and deputies entered the garage, Camacho, who was reportedly hiding behind furniture and holding a hunting knife to his throat, shouted that he was going to kill himself. Police backed off and started negotiating with Camacho.

When attempts to convince Camacho to surrender failed, Stafford was allowed to go inside and talk to him.

“I didn’t feel like I was in any danger,” Stafford said. “I would expect the guy to listen to me. He asked to talk to me.”

Stafford said he did not have to make any deals to convince Camacho to surrender.

“I told him that I would take him outside to police and that no one would hurt him,” Stafford said.

Camacho was booked into San Benito County Jail on the warrant and served with an emergency protective order related to the domestic violence allegations.