Man barricades himself in attic, falls into closet after pursuit

A man was arrested Tuesday morning after barricading himself in an apartment and falling through the ceiling.

At about 12:40 a.m., Bakersfield Police Department patrol officers attempted to stop a stolen vehicle in the area of Highway 99 and Ming Avenue being driven by 30-year-old Benny Johnston.

Officers said Johnston led officers on a pursuit until he abandoned the vehicle while it was still moving in an apartment complex parking lot in the 4300 block of Parker Street. 

The vehicle rolled into a parked car, causing damage. 

Johnston ran from officers and made his way to an apartment and forced his way inside and barricaded himself in the attic. The family inside the apartment was not harmed, officials said.

While Johnston was running from officers, officials said he told officers he was armed with a firearm.

While Johnston was barricaded in the attic, officials said he crawled through adjoining apartment attics, thus requiring officers to evacuate families from four other apartments.  Johnson also started a small fire in one of the attics and then extinguished the fire shortly after, according to BPD officials. 

After several failed attempts to get Johnston to surrender, a police K9 was inserted into the attic.

Officials said Johnston fell through the attic and landed in a closet.

Johnston was arrested on charges of felony evading, grand theft auto, receiving stolen property, resisting arrest, battery on a police officer, battery on a police canine, parole violation and arson.

The investigation is still continuing.

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