A 34-year-old man accused of vandalizing and then holing up in a bathroom at the Walmart in La Quinta, leading to an evacuation of the store, was declared mentally incompetent Wednesday and will not stand trial on his charges.
Daniel Lamonte of Palm Desert is charged with felony vandalism and resisting arrest stemming from the July 22, 2018 incident at the Walmart at 79295 Highway 111.
Following Wednesday’s announcement at the Larson Justice Center in Indio, a March 18 date was set when it will be decided which mental hospital Lamonte gets transferred to. He remains jailed in lieu of $150,000 bail at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.
Authorities allege Lamonte damaged the store restroom just before 10 p.m. and then locked himself inside a stall for nearly two hours before being taken into custody, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department
Sheriff’s Sgt. Stephen Davis said employees helped evacuate the store while deputies “engaged in a lengthy negotiation” with Lamonte in an effort to end the standoff, during which he was ordered “dozens of times” to exit the stall but allegedly refused to do so.
Deputies eventually entered and found Lamonte wielding “a metal bottle,” according to an arrest warrant declaration, which says that he was zapped with a stun gun but was still able to grab one deputy’s arm. That deputy brought Lamonte to the ground. The deputy was injured when an earring Lamonte was wearing punctured the deputy’s hand, the declaration states.
Both the deputy and Lamonte were treated and released from a hospital.
A 4-inch knife and “multiple empty syringes” were found in the bathroom, according to the declaration, which says the vandalism of the restroom resulted in an estimated $1,000 in damage. The defendant allegedly moved a toilet, removed a paper towel dispenser from the wall and broke several other items.