By Alexander Pleitez
FRESNO, CA — In a Fresno County Superior Court hearing last week, Miguel Rubio plead not guilty to all charges including arson, child abuse, and battery, after being taken into custody following an 11-hour standoff between him and police.
He then asked for the right to see his child after allegedly holding her hostage.
Defendant Rubio appeared in court to discuss bail and protective orders for two victims, including the defendant’s ex-girlfriend and his daughter. He was represented by Assistant Public Defender Jose Salazar, who asked that Rubio’s child not be placed under a protective order.
However, Deputy District Attorney Selena Fernesi argued not only should both contact orders be given but also requested that no bail should be offered to the defendant. Fernesi argued the events scarred the victims.
“Given the extremely dangerous nature of his conduct [..] the People are asking for full no-contact orders for both and that Mr. Rubio be held without bail,” she said.
When they arrived, they came in contact with the alleged victim who was at a nearby house where she first had called the police. Apparently, the victim and Rubio had been dating for about four years and during that time had one child in common.
The victim said that she had been living in fear of Rubio for awhile, not only in fear for herself but also in fear for her children including their young daughter and a 17-year-old son from a prior relationship who also lived with them, said the DDA.
That day she and the child were in a bedroom when the victim allegedly told him she wanted to end the relationship. This angered Rubio, who, in response according to the victim, “pulled her down to the ground by her hair” while their daughter watched and began crying.
He let go and started to look for something inside the bedroom closet, when the victim ran out of the bedroom toward the front door
However, the defendant caught her at the front of the house and, said the victim, “dragged her back through the house by her hair” where he then grabbed her by the throat and threatened to kill her.
In response, the victim began to panic and successfully broke free and ran to the neighbor’s house and used their phone to call 911.
When the police arrived the child was still in the house with the defendant and being held hostage. Police said the defendant swore at them, and yelled, “You’ll have to kill both of us, me and the baby b***h.”
An 11-hour standoff between Rubio, Fresno police and SWAT ensued with law enforcement attempting to convince the defendant to let the child out of the house, which he finally did after nine hours but refused to come out himself.
However, he did come out on the porch at one point waving a knife around, allegedly. He then started to pour gasoline on the porch and set it on fire, said police. SWAT was able to put out the fire before it spread and then the defendant threatened to burn the whole house down, allegedly.
The victim confirmed to the police that there was an AR-15 located in the house that she hid in the garage earlier that morning as a precaution. A later search would confirm that there was an AR-15 hidden in the garage
About 90 minutes later SWAT fired gas into the house and the defendant was taken into custody.
In addition, according to the victim, there were two unrecorded domestic violence cases before the most recent incident—one being a physical assault and another where the defendant stabbed a couch with a knife
The judge ruled there was a “good cause” to issue both protective orders in addition to refusing the defendant bail.
The matter is set to reconvene on Aug. 9 with a preliminary hearing. Visitation rights for Rubio will be determined by family court.