Tear Gas, SWAT Operation Ends 6-Hour Standoff Involving Man With Machete

The man threw the sword from a fifth-floor apartment unit into a ground-level pool during the standoff, which led to evacuations and street closures

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Windows shatter as SWAT members release a chemical agent into an apartment unit to end a six-hour standoff in Hollywood. Toni Guinyard reports for the NBC4 News at Noon on Wednesday May 8, 2013. (Published Wednesday, May 8, 2013)

    A six-hour standoff that began with a report of a man with a sword at a Hollywood apartment complex led to evacuations before the subject was taken into custody after a SWAT operation.

    Officers responded to the 1700 block of North Fuller Avenue (map), just north of Hollywood Boulevard, at about 12:30 a.m. after police received a report of a man using a sword to threaten people at the apartment complex. The man was in a fifth-floor unit in the complex when he threw the sword into the complex's pool, then barricaded himself inside the apartment.

    At about 4:30 a.m., officers threw a chemical agent, possibly tear gas, into the apartment. Officers entered the unit and took the man into custody.

    "The SWAT is always going to try to communicate with him to get him to surrender, but that wasn't the case," said Los Angeles Police Department Capt. Duane Hayakawa

    Video showed officers removing a sledgehammer and other items from the apartment complex.The sword could be seen on the bottom of the pool.

    Some residents evacuated from the fifth floor were allowed to return to their apartment units early Wednesday. Hollywood Boulevard was closed between Fuller and Camino  Palmero Street.

    The street was expected to reopen Wednesday morning.

    The man, identified as 28-year-old Oliver Bozzi, was arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats, according to the LAPD. A man who identified himself as an associate of Bozzi's told NBC4 the man is an aspiring actor.

    A witness, who recorded the scene for about five hours from a nearby residence, told NBC4 the man asked police repeatedly to shoot him.

    "It was extremely violent," said the witness. "I was surprised someone in the building would have a machete.

    "They were extremely patient with this guy. This guy was constantly trying to get police to shoot him, pretending to pull a weapon. That's the most surprising thing of all -- they absolutely didn't respond to it."

    The subject also could be heard ranting about a robbery at the residence, but LAPD officials said there was no record of a police report.