National City standoff
Police in the midst of negotiations with an estranged spouse accused of taking his kids from their mother’s San Diego home. Photo credit: OnScene.TV

Police arrested a man early Friday who allegedly broke into the home of his estranged wife and took their four children.

The arrest, in National City, followed a short standoff in which the man, who eventually surrendered, refused to leave his apartment, according to OnScene.TV.

The incident began in Tierrasanta, where the suspect waited outside his ex’s home in the community’s military housing. When the woman’s current boyfriend arrived at approximately 9:45 p.m. with his two children, the suspect allegedly shoved an 11-year-old to the ground before forcing entry to the home.

He then took his children, ages 3, 6, 7, and 9, though he has no visitation rights, according to OnScene.

The victims summoned police. Officers from the San Diego Police Department tracked the suspect to the 100 block of E. 31st St. in National City.

At approximately 3:45 a.m., officers spoke to the suspect through his closed door. They also spoke to one of the children, and determined that the youngsters were safe. The suspect rebuffed attempts to coax him from the residence.

Officers kept contact with the man and a friend of his attempted to help, arriving on scene to speak with him over the phone. By about 6:20 a.m., he gave up, exiting the apartment wearing a T-shirt that read “Y’all Need Jesus.”

Police credited the friend with helping to end the situation peacefully. None of the children, officials said, suffered injuries, including the child pushed to the ground in Tierrasanta.

SDPD Lt. Casey Gini said the man is facing charges of burglary and child stealing. OnScene noted that the suspect had “a long history of domestic violence.”