A domestic violence suspect accused of holing up in an El Cajon home, prompting a more than six-hour SWAT standoff, pleaded not guilty from his hospital bed Friday to charges of arson, possession of a leaded cane and other charges.
Ennis Staten, 38, was ordered held on $100,000 bail.
Police went to an apartment at 353 Dominguez Way shortly after 11 p.m. Tuesday in response to a woman who said her husband struck her repeatedly, El Cajon police Lt. Tim Henton said. She was taken to a hospital for treatment of facial injuries, he said.
Staten remained in the apartment as officers arrived. He threatened to stab officers if they went inside and to kill himself, Henton said.
During the initial stages of the incident, the suspect was seen with multiple knives, including a machete, Henton said. He also was breaking things inside the apartment and challenged officers to come in and get him, the lieutenant said.
The SWAT team was dispatched and crisis negotiators spoke to Staten throughout the night, but did not convince him to surrender, Henton said.
Henton said it became clear to officers about 5 a.m. that the suspect was not going to come out on his own, so they deployed tear gas. Staten came out of the residence about a half-hour later, armed with two swords, which he refused to drop, Henton said.
SWAT officers fired a sponge round -- similar to a beanbag round -- to force him to drop the weapons, Henton said. He arrested and taken to a hospital for evaluation.
Besides arson and possession of a leaded cane, Staten is charged with corporal injury to a spouse, vandalism and making a criminal threat. He faces six years and eight months in prison if convicted.
A bail review and readiness conference is scheduled for Wednesday and a preliminary hearing was set for March 14.
-City News Service