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Man threatening to blow up RV in downtown Fresno surrenders to police

A man who held police at bay for several hours as he threatened to blow up an RV near Fresno City Hall on Thursday morning surrendered to officers and was taken into custody.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer announced an end to the standoff and initially identified the man as Danny Twofeathers, 53. That turned out to be a false name. Police on Thursday afternoon identified him as Frank Eugene Campbell and said he was on parole and wanted in Los Angeles for failing to register as a sex offender.

Campbell will be booked into the Fresno County Jail for making criminal threats, according to a news release from the department.

Police surrounded the RV near Mariposa and R Streets about 8 a.m. Officers later learned that Campbell was inside the RV with his wife and brother-in-law during the standoff, as he threatened to explode a propane tank set atop a burner on the RV stove. The chief said the burner had apparently been turned on during the incident.

Campbell told police during negotiations that he was a military veteran suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. Police believe that he and his wife were living in a parking lot near Terry’s House, where families stay while a loved one is treated for critical illnesses at nearby Community Regional Medical Center. Dyer said police believe his wife was being treated at the hospital.

Police made no effort to storm the RV during the standoff and called in negotiators in an effort to wait out Campbell. Dyer said that during conversations with officers the man was smoking marijuana and at one point asked officers to bring him cigarettes and matches. Campbell emerged from the RV and turned the propane take over to officers. He was escorted to a nearby ambulance.

“Our goal all along was to de-escalate,” said Dyer.

Police became aware of the incident when Campbell handed a note to an employee heading to Terry’s House. The note warned of the propane tank on the stove.

Traffic was blocked from Fresno Street to Tulare Street on R Street during the standoff and police put their bomb squad vehicle nearby during negotiations. Police said that there was no threat to nearby buildings.