SWAT team uses chemical agents to arrest suspect in domestic disturbance

The Merced Sheriff’s Department said its SWAT team arrested a suspect who allegedly fired shots in the air during a domestic dispute, leading to his arrest after the team used chemical agents to help drive him out of a residence.

On Saturday night, the sheriff’s office got a call from a 47-year-old female victim who said her boyfriend of five years had threatened her and shot off a gun. The incident allegedly started when they both got home from separate events and an argument ensued. The boyfriend, Dennis Alexander, 47, had been drinking, according to the victim, when he went went outside and fired a gun into the air.

He came back inside and began making threats to the victim, according to a news release from Deputy Tom MacKenzie. The victim hid in the back room when Alexander went outside and fired several more shots into the air. The suspect came back inside and the victim could hear Alexander reloading his weapon, and, according to the news release, that's when she made a break for it.

Deputies were called to the scene and surrounded the house. After repeated attempts to make contact with Alexander by phone and a bullhorn, the Merced Sheriff's SWAT Team was called to the scene. A search warrant was obtained for the residence, and around 3:30 a.m., Alexander surrendered to the SWAT Team after chemical agents were deployed into the residence.

Found inside the residence where Alexander was arrested were a large-caliber handgun, three rifles and a shotgun, the news release said.

No one was injured during the incident. Alexander was arrested on charges of making terrorist threats, illegal possession of a concealable weapon and negligent discharge of a firearm.

He remains on $110,000 bail.

--Sun-Star Staff