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Standoff in Lincoln Heights area ends; two taken into custody

Standoff in Lincoln Heights area ends; two taken into custody

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A Scottsbluff man wanted on seven warrants barricaded himself in a home for nearly two hours before surrendering to police. 

Local law enforcement officers including SWAT responded to a home in the 300 block of W. 24th Street, near Lincoln Heights Elementary, at about 5 p.m., Scottsbluff Police Capt. Brian Wasson said. The man, identified as Victor Mata III, 32, had multiple warrants for his arrest, but refused to comply with an officer's demands to exit the home. 

As officers secured the scene and the home was surrounded by uniformed and non-uniformed officers, another man, identified as Rafael Velazquez, 33, of Scottsbluff entered the scene against the commands of law enforcement and ran into the residence. 

SWAT officers could be seen entering the residence, being lead by an initial officer carrying a shield. Surrounding officers carried rifles and were at the ready. Officers entering the home and located Mata, taking him into custody on numerous felony and misdemeanor warrants, ending the standoff at about 6:40 p.m. Wasson said Mata had seven arrest warrants, six charging him with failing to appear or failing to comply and the seventh for charges of two counts of forgery.  Of the failure to appear warrants one charged him with failing to appear for a trial charging him with felonious theft and for being a habitual criminal.  He was booked into the Scotts Bluff County Detention Center.

Police also arrested Velazquez on a charge of obstructing the investigation. He was also booked into the Scotts Bluff County Detention Center.

Wasson told the Star-Herald that social media reports that the man barricaded in the home had a weapon, or that shots were fired, were not accurate. He said police recovered no firearms at the residence. 

The scene was secured with assistance from the Nebraska State Patrol, Scotts Bluff County Sheriff’s Office, Gering Police Department, Scottsbluff Fire Department and Valley Ambulance Services.

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