An attorney for a man who allegedly opened fire on sheriff’s deputies, then was shot in the arm during a standoff at his Lakeside home, declared doubts about the defendant’s mental competency Tuesday and criminal proceedings were suspended.
Dustin Charles Banzhof, 39, was arrested June 15 on suspicion of attempted murder, assault on police with a firearm, domestic assault and resisting arrest, following a sheriff’s response to his home in the 11600 block of Hi Ridge Road for an alleged domestic disturbance, according to sheriff’s Lt. Thomas Seiver.
Banzhof was slated to appear in court Tuesday on charges related to the alleged shootout, but a District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman said the arraignment did not go forward after Banzhof’s public defender questioned his client’s competency. Per state law, the criminal case will not proceed until Banzhof is deemed mentally competent.
Around 8:30 p.m. June 14, Banzhof’s girlfriend made an emergency call alleging that he had beaten her and that she had then locked herself in a bedroom with their two children, Seiver said.
The woman and children were eventually able to flee the home and arriving deputies saw Banzhof driving away, Seiver said. When they tried to pull him over, he refused to yield, leading to a pursuit that ended when he doubled back and returned to his home.
Banzhof then allegedly armed himself with a rifle and began shooting at deputies, prompting Deputy Andrew Sudbury, a six-year member of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, to return fire.
Banzhof suffered a gunshot wound to the arm.
“Despite his injuries, Banzhof remained on the property, refused to comply with deputies and continued to discharge (his) rifle,” Seiver said.
Following a SWAT standoff, Banzhof emerged from his home about 2:30 a.m. June 15, still refusing to surrender, Seiver said. At that point, sheriff’s personnel unleashed a service dog, which subdued the suspect and allowed deputies to take him into custody.
After being treated at a hospital, Banzhof was booked into San Diego Central Jail.
–City News Service
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