Nathaniel Estes is All Smiles Now, But He Could Have Had Head Blown Off by Irvine Police

After a trip to the hospital, Nathaniel Estes was booked into Orange County Jail.
After a trip to the hospital, Nathaniel Estes was booked into Orange County Jail.
Courtesy of the Irvine Police Department

Look at Nathaniel Estes smiling in his booking photo. The 35-year-old appears pretty pleased with himself considering how close he came to being another police officer involved shooting statistic.

The Irvine Police Department received a call around 2 a.m. Sunday about a man causing a disturbance and threatening to kill a neighbor at an apartment complex in the 500 block of Veneto, according to a statement from Farrah Emami, the department's public information officer.

The neighbor had gone to Estes' upstairs apartment to complain about loud yelling inside, which prompted Estes to step out, point a handgun at the neighbor and threaten to kill him, Emami said.

Summoned by the neighbor, Irvine Police officers arrived to find Estes back inside of his apartment and refusing the come out, according to Emami, who said a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team was deployed and crisis negotiators continued speaking with Estes for several hours.

At one point, Estes allegedly pointed a firearm out of his apartment window and down toward the SWAT officers who were in a rescue vehicle, Emami said.

Around 5:20 a.m., Estes walked out of his apartment and down the stairs, but "he was uncooperative with officers and attempted to retreat back up the stairs into his apartment," Emami says. "A SWAT officer deployed 40mm, less lethal, direct impact rounds, which had little effect and did not stop the suspect."

What did stop the suspect was a Newport Beach Police canine, which helped Irvine cops "to safely take the suspect into custody," according to the spokeswoman.

Estes, who received a dog bite to his arm, was taken to an area hospital for treatment before he was booked into Orange County Jail on charges of assault and threatening his neighbor, Emami said.

Maybe he's smiling in the booking photo because he's the luckiest guy in town. If he was black and this was Ferguson, he'd be posing at the morgue.

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

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