A portion of Escalon-Bellota Road was shut down and a nearby preschool sent into lockdown mode when a man barricaded himself in a home on Escalon Avenue early Thursday afternoon.
The man, identified as 31-year-old Eric Cummings, was subsequently arrested without incident and taken into custody on multiple charges. He is due in Manteca Court on Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 17, for his first court appearance and remains in the San Joaquin County Jail on $173,000 bail.
Cummings was arrested and booked on Thursday afternoon, Feb. 11 after being taken into custody, charged with felony terrorists threats, felony vandalism (damage totaling more than $400) and misdemeanor exhibition of a deadly weapon other than a firearm.
Escalon Police Chief Mike Borges said police got a call of a subject threatening to harm a homeowner shortly after 12:30 p.m. Thursday, at a home listed as being in the 17000 block of Escalon Avenue, in between Miller and Libby avenues. In that area, the roadway is referred to as both Escalon-Bellota Road and Escalon Avenue, said officials, so it was initially unclear whether it was a county call or a city call.
Escalon Police responded quickly and Borges said the incident led to a roughly 90-minue standoff before officers entered the home and took the man into custody.
The homeowner, whose name was not released, told officers he had been letting Cummings stay there temporarily. Borges said the homeowner feared for his life when Cummings made threats to harm him, and injured his hands jumping over a fence to escape the home. Cummings had been acting strangely and smashed out multiple windows in the home prior to police arrival, added Borges.
Traffic was rerouted during the standoff, with police shutting down a portion of the roadway and enacting a lockdown at the nearby Country Kids child development center.
The man was taken into custody about 2:20 p.m.
Borges said after Cummings did not respond to police requests to come out of the home, they made the decision to enter the residence. He was subsequently taken into custody without incident. Officers made entry and found Cummings lying on a bed, with a knife and a box cutter beside him and two large screwdrivers within easy reach, in between the mattress and box spring. He was taken into custody and did not suffer any injures.
Borges said additional officers from Ripon Police Department responded to assist at the scene, along with Escalon Fire Department and Escalon Community Ambulance crews. Escalon Public Works personnel had the roadway blocked off and were diverting traffic as the situation unfolded. Though the homeowner suffered injuries to his hands, there were no other people hurt during the incident. No shots were fired.
“There were a lot of things that could have gone wrong,” Borges said. “But everything went right.”