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Convicted felon arrested after SWAT standoff, police chase in Ventura

A man was arrested after a lengthy police pursuit and SWAT standoff in Ventura County on Wednesday.

The suspect, John Picarelli, 38, was arrested on multiple felony charges including felony assault, felony evading, burglary, and various firearm/ammunition violations.

Ventura Police were investigating Picarelli for the unlawful possession of firearms in early October. Due to a previous felony conviction, Picarelli is prohibited from possessing any firearms or ammunition.

Police located Picarelli inside his car in the 11000 block of West Telegraph Road and attempted to detain him, but failed. Picarrelli sped away in his vehicle after crashing into an unmarked police car during the escape.

He continued speeding away, leading police on a pursuit from Ventura to Santa Paula and back again.

After crashing his car in Ventura, Picarrelli ran inside an apartment complex near the 10900 block of Telegraph Road. He broke into an apartment and barricaded himself inside, police said.

A perimeter was set up around the apartment involving detectives, officers and a sheriff’s helicopter. SWAT officers and the Ventura Police Department Tactical Negotiating Unit negotiated with Picarelli for an hour before he was taken into custody.

While searching the man’s vehicle, police found “multiple illegal firearms, ammunition, and miscellaneous assault rifle parts.” Among the firearms was an “illegal semi-automatic “ghost gun” and an illegal “sawed-off” shotgun with an obliterated serial number,” police said.

Charges were officially filed against Picarrelli on Friday while he remains in custody. 

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