A Denair man committed suicide by ramming his vehicle into law enforcement vehicles at a speed in excess of 100 miles per hour, the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department reported.
The man was identified by the sheriff’s department as Javier Cueto-Aldaz, 39, of Denair.
At 7:45 p.m. Monday, the sheriff’s department was dispatched to a home in the 4300 block of Hickman Road in Denair for a report from a woman who said her husband was suicidal and armed with a knife.
“Deputies asked for assistance from our helicopter to provide arial assistance and relay updates,” said sheriff’s department spokesman Sgt. Like Schwartz. “Our helicopter identified a person matching the description outside of his home on Hickman Road.”
Aldaz appeared to be armed with a black rifle, so deputies established a command post from a safe, contained distance about one mile down the road.
“To avoid an armed confrontation with someone possibly possessing a handgun, long-gun rifle, and a knife, we continued with negotiations,” Schwartz said. “Aldaz was drinking alcohol walking in and out of his home and seen entering parked cars on the property. Every effort was made to preserve public safety and avert an unnecessary use-of-force situation.”
Traffic was restricted in the area and residents were asked to evacuate as the negotiations continued.
“Our deputies reached Aldaz on the telephone to de-escalate and negotiate a peaceful resolution,” Schwartz said. “Aldaz engaged in an open dialogue with a trained negotiator but did not surrender peacefully.”
Aldaz said he wanted to end his life and then got into a pickup truck on his property.
Aldaz was driving the truck at a speed of more than 100 miles per hour at the sheriff’s department command center of deputies, patrol cars, and an armored SWAT vehicle.
“Fortunately, deputies were able to run to safety in a nearby orchard,” Schwartz said.
The truck smashed into three of the unoccupied vehicles. Upon impact the truck erupted into flames and overturned into the orchard.
Deputies rushed to help Aldaz and pulled him from the burning truck and began rendering medical aid. Paramedics assumed treatment for transport to a local area hospital where Aldaz later died from his injuries.
There were no other injuries from the incident.
“Our investigators are reviewing body worn and helicopter camera footage,” Schwartz said. “Later, we will be releasing video footage for the public.”
Members of the community are urged to contact Detective Summerton at 209-525-7032 if they have witness information to share.