Self-Described 'Sovereign Citizen' Surrenders After Barricading Self

Police car on the street

PASADENA (CNS) - A criminal threats suspect who claimed to be a “sovereign citizens'' adherent was arrested after barricading himself in a Pasadena duplex for about five hours today, prompting a SWAT team response, police said.

The Pasadena Police Department received a call about 11:30 a.m. about a suspect at a duplex in the 700 block of North Lake Avenue, near Orange Grove Boulevard, allegedly making threats to another resident, according to Lt. Bill Grisafe, who said the same man was also the subject of an outstanding warrant for alleged past criminal threats.

When officers arrived at the scene, the suspect, who was not armed, barricaded himself inside the bottom unit of the duplex and refused to come out, Grisafe said.

A SWAT team was sent to the apartment to try to negotiate with the suspect, who espoused “sovereign citizens'' ideology, according to Grisafe.

The suspect surrendered peacefully about 4:30 p.m., Grisafe said.

The Sovereign Citizens Movement is a right-wing extremist group made up of people who reject the authority of judges, juries, law enforcement and elected officials, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“Sovereign citizens believe they get to decide which laws to obey and which to ignore, and they don't think they should have to pay taxes,'' the SPLC reports on its website. “The movement is rooted in racism and anti-Semitism, though most sovereigns, many of whom are African American, are unaware of their beliefs' origins.''

Photo: Getty Images

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