Clairemont SWAT standoff ends with arrest

Posted at 8:07 AM, Dec 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-13 22:43:09-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Two San Diego police officers were injured Monday night after they were allegedly attacked while responding to a domestic disturbance call at a Clairemont home -- an incident that escalated into a gunfight and an hours-long standoff.

The confrontation happened at about 9 p.m. at a home in the 4700 block of Mt. St. Helens drive, SDPD officials said.

Police received a call from a woman at the residence asking for help, and she described her boyfriend as being delusional and becoming violent. Responding officers were met at the door by the suspect, identified as 33-year-old Hayden Gerson.

Gerson was compliant and calm at first, but he then became agitated and made delusional statements towards the officers, police said.

One officer deployed a Taser on Gerson, but it did not affect the suspect. Gerson then punched a female officer in the face, prompting the second officer to deploy a Taser again, but that was also ineffective.

Gerson punched the second officer, a male, in the face multiple times and also choked him, police said.

The officers were able to separate themselves from Gerson, and police said the suspect ran into his home, and then came back to his door armed with a handgun.

The male officer who was punched multiple times in the face and was having difficulty standing and walking, according to police. The female officer saw the gun and pulled the male officer to safety.

A SWAT team was called after the armed suspect barricaded himself inside the home. During the standoff, Gerson engaged two officers in a gunfight in which several rounds were fired.

The suspect exited the house after SWAT personal deployed chemical agents into the home.

A police K-9 officer was dispatched to help subdue Gerson outside of the home, but he bit and choked the dog. Gerson was eventually taken into custody after a brief struggle with multiple officers.

The two officers who initially responded to the scene were transported to a local hospital with scrapes and bruises, but they're expected to recover. Gerson was also transported to a hospital with minor injuries sustained during his fight with K-9 officer.

The other two officers who were shot at by Gerson were not struck by the gunfire. Gerson was also not struck by any gunfire.

Investigators are expected to remain on the scene the majority of the day to comb through the scene, collect evidence and interview witnesses.

After Gerson was taken into custody, officers did a safety sweep inside the home where they located at least one firearm.

Additionally, police confirmed that an "unconfirmed explosive" was located in an area near the house during a search.

A hazardous materials team and the Metro Arson Strike Team (MAST) were sent in to examine the device. It was later ruled harmless and was not illegal, as it appeared to be some kind of food product.

Hayden Gerson has been in the news before.  In April, he and a girlfriend were the subjects of an international missing persons case when they disappeared during a Jamaican cruise.  The couple later claimed they’d missed the boarding call and the ship set sail without them.

Team 10 looked into Gerson’s background and discovered he’s owned several businesses from real estate and financing to a solar panel installation company.

Gerson is an avid motorcycle racer and the father of an 8-year old girl.  He’s been married for 9 years to Pricila Gerson, but filed for dissolution in early November.  Court documents say there is no known address for Pricila Gerson.  The couple separated 3 years ago.

Social media sites show Gerson is into yoga and spirituality.  He also appears to be a bit of a daredevil, trying things like sky-diving to leave his fears behind.

One of his last Facebook posts, one week before his arrest, Gerson wrote: “Don’t pay attention to the devil, even if he’s sitting right on your shoulder.”

Team 10 reached out to Gerson’s family members.  They did not return our calls.