Earlier this morning at 3:06AM, Atwater Police Officers Lorin Mann, Darin Jantz and Sam Parks were dispatched to an apartment in the 700 block of Broadway Avenue for a reported domestic disturbance. When officers arrived they heard a male and female yelling from inside of the apartment. The male, later identified as David Tanner, 37, came to the door screaming “they’re trying to kill me”. Tanner and his wife were ordered out of the apartment and Officers Mann and Parks began searching the apartment for the assailants. Officers discovered that the interior stairwell of the apartment was engulfed in flames preventing access to the three upstairs rooms. Officer Parks was able to knock down the flames with his fire extinguisher enough to check the upstairs of the apartment for other persons. Officer Jantz was with Tanner outside the apartment when Tanner began screaming that the officers were now trying to kill him. Tanner grabbed his wife in a bear hug and using her as a shield, began backing across Broadway. Attempts to defuse the situation failed, and officers were able to taser and subdue Tanner. Tanner continued to resist and struggle with officers but was eventually secured in handcuffs.
Riggs ambulance was called to the scene and Tanner was secured to a gurney and was transported to Mercy Hospital followed by Officer Parks. During his arrest Tanner made statements to the effect that he would start another fire and burn the apartment down. Tanner was charged with Arson of an Occupied Dwelling, Resisting Arrest and Violation of Parole and after medical clearance will be booked into the Merced County jail.
As the incident unfolded, Cal Fire units arrived and extinguished the fire inside of the apartment. Estimates on the damage are yet to be determined.