EL MONTE — El Monte police evacuated about 80 residents Thursday from an apartment complex where a 36-year-old man barricaded himself for more than 10 hours, set a small fire and threw shoes at a SWAT team.
Shen Myint-Thu Latweef ultimately surrendered to authorities about 2:30 a.m. Friday following the stand-off at his apartment inside a large complex in the 3700 block of Peck Road, El Monte police Lt. Dan Burlingham said.
He was taken for psychiatric evaluation as police investigated him on suspicion of attempted arson, police said.
Lt. David Vautrin said an apartment manager called police Thursday afternoon police because the man had been acting strangely. He recently used black tape to tape the windows, was reportedly banging on the walls and was overheard having a verbal dispute with family on the phone.
Officials said they were told Latweef moved into the complex about three months ago.
Officers went to the man’s apartment at 4:23 p.m.
“(He was) initially argumentative with officers,” Vautrin said.
Latweef shut the door on them, officials said. Officers saw smoke coming out of the apartment but the fire in the apartment went out a short time later.
The man didn’t answer the phone when police called the apartment. He tossed shoes at the officers, Vautrin said.
Vautrin said officials shut down the gas to the complex and summoned a SWAT team. The SWAT officers made phone calls to the apartment, tossed in a camera the size of a softball and deployed pepper balls and pepper gas.
But Latweef remained inside for several more hours until he finally surrendered without further incident, police said.
The Red Cross was notified about the evacuated residents, Burlingham said. They were being housed at the gym in Lambert Park until the situation ended early Friday morning.
– Ruby Gonzales and Brian Day