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Man arrested after standoff

Police fire foam round through glass door to nab man who allegedly threatened estranged wife.

January 08, 2011|By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com

NORTHWEST GLENDALE — A 59-year-old Glendale man was arrested Thursday after locking himself in his home garage with a gun after arguing with his estranged wife — whom he later repeatedly called from jail, police said.

The man, Andranik Ghaghian, and his wife began arguing after she told him that he had a drinking problem, Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said. He allegedly had been drinking for several days.

At some point during the argument, Ghaghian removed a gun from under a couch cushion and threatened to kill her if she didn't leave him alone, Lorenz said.

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Ghaghian then headed into the garage, where he had been sleeping since they separated, Lorenz said.

Fearing that he might hurt her, she ran into another part of the home and called police about 3:56 p.m., telling them that he had threatened to kill her, Lorenz said.

Police arrived at the home on Pitman Avenue, surrounded the neighborhood and evacuated their neighbors, he said.

Officers called the home to speak with him, but he didn't respond, Lorenz said.

"He just ignored them — didn't say a thing," he said.

Since he wasn't cooperating with police, Lorenz said officers fired a 40-millimeter foam round into the garage's sliding glass door, which shattered.

Ghaghian immediately surrendered and was arrested on suspicion of threatening his wife, Lorenz said.

Later that evening, the wife called police to notify them that Ghaghian had called her several times from jail and threatened to hurt her and their two sons, Lorenz added.

A temporary emergency restraining order was secured that night.

While the restraining order is aimed at keeping Ghaghian away from her once he is released from jail, Lorenz said a permanent declaration to ensure constant protection under the law was recommended.

"We obviously realize this is a volatile situation," Lorenz said. "We know that a piece of paper does not provide bulletproof protection."

Any domestic violence victim should get rid of or change their phone number, said one YWCA case manager who declined to give her name because she works with abused women who are in hiding.

Global-positioning devices on cell phones have made it easier for attackers to track down domestic violence victims, who should go to a shelter, or hide to protect themselves and their children, she added.

They should also immediately seek a restraining order, which she said the YWCA will help obtain.

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