Couple arrested after Murrieta child custody dispute leads to armed standoff
UPDATED: Saturday, Nov. 3, 2 p.m., With suspects’ booking information.
MURRIETA — Two people are in custody after a child custody dispute led to an armed standoff on a Murrieta St. yesterday morning, Friday, Nov. 2. The pair was safely apprehended after an hour-long standoff that centered around a car parked on the 26000 block of Peachwood Dr., between Iris Way and Orange Blossom Ln.
Many Murrieta residents woke yesterday to the sound of sirens and heavy law enforcement activity, as officers from multiple agencies flooded into the quiet neighborhood where the armed standoff happened. Some area residents later reported not being able to leave their small residential neighborhood to go to work or get their children to school on time.
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Murrieta police officers responded to the neighborhood at 7:22 a.m., after receiving reports of a man with a rifle outside a home. The 911 caller told emergency dispatchers that his son’s ex-wife and her new boyfriend were attempting to take custody of a minor child and that the boyfriend was at the front door of the residence armed with an assault rifle.
When officers arrived they quickly located and confronted the two subjects, who were found sitting inside a vehicle near the residence. The child the couple was trying to pick up was still inside the home where the 911 call originated.
“The subjects were uncooperative and refused to exit their vehicle … and an hour-long standoff ensued,” Murrieta PD said in a social media release after the pair was in custody.
Based on the circumstances and weapons reportedly involved, officials at the scene requested additional resources to the location, including members of the Hemet-Murrieta Police Regional Special Operations Unit, or SWAT.
The call-out brought officials from the two agencies flooding into the neighborhood, which soon swelled with countless patrol and special teams’ vehicles; along with fire and rescue personnel, who were staged in the area and prepared to react at a moment’s notice.
As the standoff continued, officers made the decision to deploy chemical agents and less-lethal bean bag rounds into the suspects’ vehicle. The couple eventually exited the car, at which time they were both taken into custody without further incident and “without serious injuries,” according to MPD.
Booking records later indicated the pair was arrested just before 8:30 a.m., about an hour after the incident was first reported.
Once the couple was safely detained, officers located an AR-15 rifle and shotgun inside the couples’ vehicle and “both suspects also had loaded AR-15 magazines on their person when taken into custody,” said MPD.
Officials later identified Jherrold Vida Nocon, 35, and Julienne Genevieve Celestino, 36, as the pair involved in the tense standoff. Both are Homeland residents, according to officials.
After being treated at the scene by paramedics the pair was booked at Cois Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta.
Jail records indicate Celestino was booked on suspicion of committing four felonies and four misdemeanors. Her felony charges included committing a felony while in possession of an assault weapon, conspiracy to commit a felony, brandishing a firearm, and possession of a controlled substance while armed with a firearm. Her misdemeanor charges included two counts of possession of a controlled substance, driving under the influence of drugs, and resisting or obstructing police officers.
Nocon was booked suspicion of four felonies, including possession of a loaded firearm, committing a felony while armed with an assault weapon, conspiracy to commit a felony, brandishing a firearm. He was also booked on a misdemeanor charge of resisting or obstructing officers.
Both alleged suspects remain in custody, with Celestino being held on $145,000 bail and Nocon held on $110,000 bail. The couple is scheduled to be arraigned at Murrieta’s Southwest Justice Center, Nov. 6.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact Murrieta PD’s on-duty Watch Commander at (951) 696-3615. Callers can refer to incident file number MR18-1224 and can remain anonymous. Tips can also be provided anonymously through “We Tip” at 1-800-78-CRIME.
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Trevor Montgomery, 47, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 14 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.