NewsCovering Kern County


Neighbors speak out about Southwest Bakersfield standoff

Posted at 9:16 PM, Sep 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-02 00:16:07-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Neighbors are speaking out after an hours-long police standoff at a Southwest Bakersfield apartment complex Saturday night.

The standoff lasted around 8 hours at The Springs apartment complex on Camino Media. It all began when a man identified as 61-year-old Dennis Daniel Rhynes pointed a gun at his neighbor and threatened to kill him. Mark Allen lives at The Springs and says he's the man who was on the receiving end of the gun.

"I then approached his door and knocked and from that point 30 seconds later he opened the door and put a revolver in my face and he said 'get on the ground or I'll kill you' probably about four times," Allen said.

Allen says he is the one who called police last night, leading to the standoff. He says Rhynes approached him at his patio earlier in the day and seemed confused. Allen later wanted to check on his neighbor and knocked on his door. That's when the incident happened.

"His wife started grabbing him by his left arm, trying ot pull him in to the apartment, and I kind of got out of the line of fire and went around the back side and, you know, attempted to get away from there," Allen said.

Police responded to the scene at about 6:51 p.m.

"When the cops approached the door he had actually pulled him and his wife back in to the apartment and closed it once he saw the cops, so from that point they were on the loudspeaker, you know, signaling them to come out with his hands up," Allen said.

Instead Rhynes barricaded himself inside the apartment for eight hours, several neighbors were evacuated during the standoff, until Rhynes exited the apartment at 3 a.m.

Neighbors rolled video as he was arrested without incident. Those in the community say they never heard any shots fired, but still the incident was jarring to say the least.

"There are 500 units here but overall, you know, it's pretty quiet here so, I mean we've never had anything like that here with SWAT and everything so," said John Lacivita, who lives next door to the apartment where the incident happened.

"You know I slept great last night, you know, god had his hand over me at that point, kept me safe, as well as my girlfriend so, time to get back to the normal routine at this point," Allen said.