Suspect In Palm Springs Assault, Barricade Found Mentally Incompetent

Suspect In Palm Springs Assault, Barricade Found Mentally Incompetent

News Staff

A Palm Springs resident who barricaded himself inside his home after allegedly assaulting a man last year was Tuesday found mentally incompetent to stand trial.

James Hardwick, 35, was ordered committed to a California Department of State Hospitals facility for a period of up to two years by Riverside County Superior Court Judge Burke Strunsky, who presided over the defendant’s mental competency hearing at the Larson Justice Center in Indio.

Hardwick will be returned to court to stand trial in the event that doctors determine his mental competency has been restored.

He is accused of striking a man in the head with a blunt object, then holing up in his residence in the 400 block of West Dominguez Road for several hours before surrendering to police last Dec. 15.

Palm Springs officers responded just after noon that day to a call regarding a man with a “moderate head injury,” who was allegedly struck by Hardwick.

The suspect barricaded himself inside his home, as police were trying to determine the validity of a report that he had “armed himself with explosives,” prompting a bomb squad and SWAT team response.

Hardwick surrendered after talking with crisis negotiators over the phone. The residence was checked for explosives and determined to be safe, police said, though the criminal complaint alleges that Hardwick was in possession of an unspecified explosive device.

Hardwick pleaded not guilty in December to charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats and possession of an explosive device.