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Woman allegedly assaulted Camp Fire crews with bear mace: SWAT ended the 7-hour standoff

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A woman in Concow allegedly assaulted a Camp Fire cleanup crew with bear mace Monday morning, police said Tuesday. A SWAT team had to intervene with tear gas after a seven-hour standoff with Butte County Sheriff’s deputies.

Witnesses told deputies Thea Lynette Lomker, 56, drove up to the crew on the 12,000 block of Granite Ridge Road in Concow and attacked them around 9:25 a.m. Monday, according to a news release from the Butte County Sheriff’s Office. Police said she was unprovoked.

One worker was injured and Lomker fled the scene, according to the release. The suspect barricaded herself in her home, where she refused to speak to deputies or exit for seven hours, the release said.

Deputies attempted to get Lomker to surrender by calling a crisis negotiator and a clinician with Butte County Behavioral Health, but the suspect refused until the Sheriff’s Office issued a warrant for her arrest and called a SWAT team.

The SWAT team’s attempt to communicate with Lomker failed, and they used tear gas to force her to surrender, according to the release.

Lomker was booked into Butte County Jail at 7:40 p.m. Monday with bail set at $250,000, Sheriff’s Office records show. She faces felony charges for the illegal use of mace, according to the release.

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Caroline Ghisolfi, from Stanford University, is a local news reporter for The Sacramento Bee, focusing on breaking news and health care. She grew up in Milan, Italy.
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