A dramatic hostage situation at a San Francisco city-licensed marijuana grow-house ended in the arrest of an unnamed suspect Wednesday. It seems that 4 masked gunmen attempted to rob the warehouse in the Bayview area on Jennings, near Wallace Avenue, but were stymied by a report of the incident.
In response, one of the suspects took four of the grow-house workers hostage in an attempt to avoid arrest and held them for several hours before a SWAT team, including a canine unit, was deployed. Upon seeing the police dog, it is said that the unidentified suspect, afraid of being bitten, immediately surrendered to police officers.
The grow-house itself seems to have been in compliance with all state laws and regulations.
Robbery is illegal under California Penal Code, sections 211-215 and can carry anywhere from 3, 6, or 9 years in state prison. If it can be proven that there were multiple victims of said robbery, like the four workers involved in this case, then the suspect may be charged separately for each count. Additionally, California Penal Code 210.5 makes false imprisonment of a hostage to avoid arrest illegal. A person who has been accused of this particular crime may face 3, 5, or 8 years in state prison.
There could be some hope, however, for the unnamed suspect – if an experienced San Francisco criminal attorney can prove that he or she felt that they were under undue duress, acted in self-defense, or in defense of others, then they may have a good chance of receiving a lesser sentence.