Violent suspect apprehended after barricade in Surprise
S?urprise, A?Z (March 29, 2017) On March 29th, 2017 at about 8:30am officers and detectives from the Surprise Police Department, assisted by additional personnel from various agencies, went to a home in the area of the 28800 block of north 179th avenue in an attempt to serve a felony arrest warrant. The subject of the warrant was Christopher Ralston, a 48 year old male; the felony warrant was for a kidnapping charge.
Officers and detectives contacted the residents of the home who confirmed Ralston was inside. The residents also told police Ralston had made statements about having a gun and that he would rather die than to go back to jail.
Police tried calling out to Ralston for several minutes; they received no response, however, movement was heard inside the home. At this time detectives called for the Crisis Negotiations Team and SWAT teams to respond in order ensure the appropriate resources and tactics were utilized. The purpose behind bringing in these specialized units was to ensure the situation would remain contained and to maximize the safety of the surrounding community, the police officers, and the suspect. Meanwhile, detectives drafted and were granted a search warrant for the residence in order to retrieve Ralston from inside.
The SWAT and CNT teams continued to make announcements to Ralston asking him to come out and surrender peacefully; these requests received no response. Through the use of several different robots and other devices the teams were able to surveil most of the residence. Intelligence gained during the investigation led police to believe Ralston was possibly hiding in either the subfloor or crawl space below the home.
At approximately 4:40pm, more than 8 hours after the start of this incident, Ralston was seen exiting the subfloor of the home into an exposed portion of the crawl space. SWAT team members continued to ask Ralston to surrender and he refused stating to them he would rather die than go back to jail. Ralston repeatedly ignored commands and at one point told officers that he was armed with a knife and a .45 caliber handgun.
As Ralston attempted to exit the crawlspace back into the residence SWAT team members utilized less lethal devices in an effort to subdue him. At this time officers were able to get ahold of Ralston; despite a continued struggle officers were able to detain him.
The patience, poise, and professionalism of all officers, detectives, and agents involved were key components to the successful resolution of this incident. The use of specialized teams such as the Surprise Police Department SWAT and CNT teams allowed this volatile situation to be diffused and a violent felon to be apprehended with minimal injuries and no loss of life.