The Lassen County Sheriff’s Office announced this afternoon that Angelo Atencio II, an inmate who escaped from the Lassen County Jail on December 1st, was taken into custody along with his alleged accomplice Ashly Ward, after a standoff inside a burning residence early this morning in Humboldt County, Nevada.
“Deputies and Detectives from the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office have been working around the clock in what was essentially an ‘all hands-on deck’ manhunt,” explains LCSO Operations Commander Captain Mike Carney.
According to Carney the Sheriff’s Office investigated several leads, which lead to the service of several search warrants, building searches and citizen contacts in attempt to locate Atencio.
On Tuesday evening, at around 10:00p.m., Detectives received information that Atencio was currently hiding at a residence near Winnemucca, Nevada.
“Lassen County Detectives had already been in contact with Deputies from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office in Nevada through-out this investigation,” said Carney.
“Upon determining the high probability of Atencio’s whereabouts on Tuesday night, LCSO Detectives immediately notified the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and provided them with the address of where Atencio was believed to be.”
Humboldt County Deputies responded to the residence and, according to details provided by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, the deputies observed people running back into the residence upon their arrival.
“HCSO spoke to another person who indicated Antencio and Ward were in the residence. Knowing that there were people inside, believed to be armed and dangerous, and not complying with law enforcement’s orders to exit the residence, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office activated the Tri-County Special Response Team and a hostage negotiator the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office.”
After a communication device was thrown in the residence, the Hostage Negotiator began talking to a male subject from inside the residence, who soon exited the house.
The Hostage Negotiator, after several attempts, finally made contact with Antencio who stated that he had taken Ward as hostage inside the house. The hostage negotiator continued to speak to Antencio for several hours.
“At one point, we could see that a fire was started on the top floor of the residence”, said Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Allen.
The negotiations with Antencio to surrender peacefully continued, but he still would not come out of the residence. The SRT deployed tear gas in the residence, however, Antencio and Ward would move around the building. Eventually, the top floor of the residence became engulfed in flames.
“We could see at this time Antencio and Ward were in the basement and you could hear Ward frantically scream as the house began burning down,” said Sheriff Allen.
A group of 5 SRT members initiated a rescue into the residence and pulled Ward from the home, then returned inside to rescue Antencio – all while the house was fully engulfed in flames.
“The SRT members acted heroically and unselfishly to save the lives of two people who were wanted on felony arrest warrants. This is an excellent demonstration from our deputies who put their own lives on the line for the lives of others,” said Sheriff Allen.
Captain Carney and the LCSO thanked several outside agencies who assisted the Lassen Sheriff’s Office through-out the course of this investigation, “We would personally like to thank the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Fugitive Apprehension Team, CDCR High Desert ISU Team, FBI Reno RA Safe Streets Task Force, FBI Sacramento Safe Streets Task Force, FBI Sacramento and Las Vegas, The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office in Nevada, The Lassen County District Attorney’s Office, and the Lassen County Crime Stoppers.”