SWAT team uses cigarettes to lure suspect out during standoff in Boaz


(Courtesy of the Boaz Police Department)

BOAZ, Ala. (WIAT) — What started as a complaint about an argument between two men in Boaz early Thursday morning took a turn that involved shotguns, a SWAT team, cigarettes and two arrests by the end.

According to a press release from the Boaz Police Department, officers received a call at approximately 4:37 a.m. on Thursday about an argument between two men that involved a gun at a mobile home on 5300 Bethesaida Road.

Emanuel Alvira Catala (Courtesy of the Boaz Police Department)

Arriving on the scene, officers came into contact with Emanuel Alvira Catala, 38, in the front yard.

The BPD assistant chief Walter Colbert gave details of the incident in a release Thursday afternoon.

“The complainant who had called stated that the suspect had been living with him and had just gotten out of the DeKalb County Jail,” Colbert said. “He stated that they got into an argument over the suspect staying at his residence longer than he was supposed to.”

The victim who made the call said the argument turned physical when Catala pointed a loaded shotgun at his head.

Officers dealing with Catala noted that he seemed to be yelling, acting erratic, and appeared to be under the influence of drugs.

“Officers ordered the suspect to the ground but he refused and was yelling that he wasn’t going to go back to prison,” Colbert said. “The suspect did not follow the officers commands and was actively resisting officers.”

Colbert said one of the officers used a taser to subdue Catala, but that method was not very effective. He pulled the taser probes out from his chest and continued to resist the officers’ orders.

“Another officer then deployed his taser and it was also ineffective,” Colbert said. “The suspect then ran back inside the residence and refused to come out.”

After Catala went inside, officers on the scene formed a perimeter around the trailer and evacuated a nearby home. Police attempted several times to get Catala to come out, but he refused.

Officers attempt to get Catala to come out of a mobile home on Bethesaida Road in Boaz. (Courtesy of the Boaz Police Department)

After calling for backup, officers from the Albertville Police Department, Marshall County Sheriff’s Department, Marshall County Drug Enforcement Unit, Sardis City Police Department, the Dekalb County Sheriff’s Office, and the Arab/Guntersville Police SWAT team responded and arrived on the scene. Like before, further attempts to make contact with Catala were initially unsuccessful until they were able to get him a cellphone to communicate with him.

“The suspect was heard yelling obscenities inside the residence and at one point broke a window out using his head,” Colbert said. “The suspect did not have a cellphone so SWAT Officers threw one in the broken window so they could attempt to make contact.”

Once he had a cellphone, Catala requested a cigarette from the officers. Officers with the SWAT team then approached the home with cigarettes and a lighter, causing Catala to come out onto the front porch.

(Courtesy of the Boaz Police Department)

“Once the suspect got closer, a SWAT Officer deployed a taser at the suspect and he was taken into custody by other SWAT team members and officers,” Colbert said.

The standoff between Catala and law enforcement ended at 9:45 a.m., lasting over five hours. Catala was arrested and charged with resisting arrest, menacing, obstructing governmental operations, and a warrant for failure to appear.

An additional suspect, 39-year-old Isabela Lopez Gonzalez, was found hiding under a bed inside the home and was also arrested. Gonzalez was charged with obstructing a governmental operation and resisting arrest.

No officers or suspects were injured during the standoff.  


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