Arrested suspect accesses Deputy’s firearm, leading to jail standoff

At 4:37 a.m., a thief or thieves used a hammer to break the storefront glass window and stole three racing bikes totaling a loss of about $15,600.Photo: Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office

A Santa Clara Sheriff’s Deputy had a close call early Wednesday morning, leading to a dangerous situation at County Jail.

According to the department, just after 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, an arrestee – now identified as 40-year-old Joseph Castro – broke into the cargo area of the vehicle he was detained in, while handcuffed, and accessed a firearm.

Castro then fired shots at the officer, who was able to find safety and call for help.

Several officers from the department, as well as teams from neighboring jurisdictions – including crisis negotiation teams – came to assist.

Castro was able to continue firing shots from a position inside the patrol vehicle.

After more than four hours, tactical teams extracted the suspect from the patrol car, without incident. Castro was then booked into jail and has since been charged with attempted murder and two other felonies.

While the department says the arresting officer followed standard protocols for securing his weapon, the department is now investigating.

It is the second high-profile standoff in recent weeks, following the multi-hour situation at Cupertino’s Donut Wheel.