Crippled Man Dies During Sheriff’s Department Search Warrant Siege Of His Upland Home

The bolloxed handling of what started out as a routine welfare check on a handicapped man ended with his death and the utter destruction of the home he lived in. Now follows the potential that that as many as a dozen lawmen involved in the fatal incident stand to be declared Brady officers if their reports show a substantial deviation from what can be established as having happened from the comprehensive video footage of the untoward event.
Charles Staudenmayer, 54, had been living in a home at 1503 Fairwood Way in Upland, in the midst of an upscale neighborhood for the last 24 years. It was a home that had come to him through a trust set up by his parents.
Not only was Staudenmayer in poor health, he had lost a good deal of his mobility, to the point where he was only semi-ambulatory, requiring the use of two canes or a walker to be able to walk.
His father had been dead for nearly 30 years, while his mother had more recently passed away.
Staudenmayer was described as someone who ran hot and cold. Those who knew him well say he was a truly wonderful, decent, warm and caring human being. They also acknowledge that he could be, on occasion, “prickly” and “very offensive.” He had, over the course of his late adolescence and occasionally as an adult, interactions with the police, i.e., arrests.
He was currently facing charges of being in possession of drugs for sale relating to an incident in Ontario on August 25, 2022. Those charges were filed on August 29, 2022. He was also charged on January 21, 2022 with being in possession of a controlled substance for sale, possession of a short-barreled shotgun, possession of an assault weapon and being a felon in possession of a firearm during an incident in Fontana on January 19, 2022. Further, pending against Staudenmayer was a case for being in possession of a controlled substance for sale, taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent and receiving stolen property based on an incident in Rancho Cucamonga on February 19, 2021. That case was filed against him on December 8, 2021. No conviction on any of those charges, all of which are felonies, had been entered against him. He was next due in court in Rancho Cucamonga on December 20.
He had previously pleaded no contest to transporting a controlled substance during an incident in Upland on June 28, 2016.
Staudenmayer had pleaded guilty to being in possession of a controlled substance for sale in an incident in Upland on June 29, 2014.
More than a decade previously, he had been convicted of being a felon in possession of a loaded firearm during an incident in Upland on October 2, 2003.
He was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm in a case stemming from an incident on June 28, 2003, but those charges had been dismissed.
Court documents show that Staudenmayer had a felony conviction prior to June 2003, but court records show no such conviction in San Bernardino County.
Staudemayer was also convicted of a misdemeanor pertaining to an incident in Upland on September 25, 2020 for which he was charged with being a person in possession of ammo while being restricted from such possession.
There were misrepresentations in the criminal charges filed against Staudemayer, those familiar with the circumstances of those cases said. He wasn’t selling drugs as the charges filed implied. Rather, the Sentinel was told, prosecutors overcharged the cases against him to obtain leverage to get him to enter guilty pleas.
“He was caught with drugs a couple of times,” one of his acquaintances said. “He had guns, so, that made him an ex-felon in possession of a firearm, which in the eyes of the police turned him into fair game. But he never shot anyone, although there were circumstances where others around him were carrying on like fools and someone with less restraint than Charley had would have shot them. If you knew him and he knew you, he could be a very caring guy, level-headed and generous. He did not like the way the police interfered in his life.”
As a beneficiary of a trust, Staudenmayer had been able to hold his life together, although his declining health in recent years had left him less animated than previously, as well as dependent on others for certain things, which grated on him as he was a fiercely independent sort.
He had a girlfriend who was described as “crazy in love” with him, and they had settled into a domestic situation in which she was living with him at the 1503 Fairwood Way address. About two weeks ago, the couple had a spat and Staudenmayer ordered her to leave. She did so, but a few days later went to the sheriff’s department, saying she was concerned about Staudenmayer. She requested that a welfare check be done on him.
When the sheriff’s department complied with the request, a perturbed Staudenmayer made his way to the door at 1503 Fairwood Way home and told the deputies he sensed that they were merely trying to get into his house to carry out a search and that if they wanted to come in, they would need to get a search warrant.
Members of the sheriff’s department had contact with his former girlfriend once more in which they either coaxed from her or induced a statement that there were drugs and weapons at the 1503 Fairwood Way residence. They used this to obtain a search warrant.
Despite the consideration that the property is well within the Upland City Limits and that the Upland Police Department is the law enforcement agency with normal jurisdiction there, the sheriff’s department, after notifying the Upland Police Department, proceeded in the effort to serve the search warrant and effectuate any arrest that would proceed from the discovery of any illicit drugs or weapons.
Unknown by law enforcement, Staudenmayer had installed what was represented to the Sentinel as an ultra-modern video and sound surveillance system at his residence, which entailed video cameras capable of 360-degree coverage perched at all of the structure’s windows, as well as at other locations in the back, side and front yard of the residence, as well as the garage. At some point early in the encounter, while Staudenmayer was still capable of making outside communicative contact, he arranged to have all of the moving images being captured by those devices to be uploaded to a platform capable of storing them.
When sheriff’s personnel returned to the 1503 Fairwood Way residence to serve the search warrant on November 20 at 3:17 p.m., they were spotted by Staudenmayer even before they came onto his property, while they were amassing, preparatory for the raid. There were two individuals with Staudenmayer inside the house at the time, and after telling them that he expected officers to be descending upon the house within minutes and that he anticipated the tactics to be used would be aggressive and rough, instructed them to leave the house and to exit through the garage, shutting the garage door behind them.
The two did as Staudenmayer requested, taking their exodus just as a team of deputies in SWAT gear were about to move into action mode. As they hurriedly came out of the garage with the garage door closing just behind them, Staudenmayer’s departing guests knocked into some stacked containers, which made a loud report as they fell to the garage’s concrete floor. Some or even all of the deputies present interpreted that sound as gunshots.
Staudenmayer’s refusal to leave the premises and his known possession of firearms led to the conclusion that he was barricaded within the residence and that a siege would be necessary to bring him outside so the search could be conducted.
Radio reports of shots fired brought multiple support units from the Upland Police Department to the location.
It was reported that the initial set of deputies who went to the home to serve the search warrant consisted of the department’s gang and narcotics enforcement divisions. As the incident failed to resolve itself, personnel with the sheriff’s specialized enforcement division were among those who were called upon to assist in the takedown. More than one crisis negotiator was involved in trying to reason with Staudemayer, according to the department.
What ensued was what the sheriff’s department described as “less lethal tactics” being employed in an effort to drive Staudenmayer out into the open. Those tactics included shooting more than one teargas canister into the abode at different spots.
Despite the house being flooded with teargas, Staudenmayer did not emerge.
As the stand-off ensued, the department brought in Bearcats, armored vehicles which were utilized to puncture all of the house’s windows and pull out the window frames to prevent Staudemayer from hiding or otherwise visually obscuring himself.
Well after back-up Upland police units arrived, Staudemayer was yet refusing, or otherwise unable, to exit his house. It was also after Upland police arrived that law enforcement officers maintain there were more shots fired from inside the house.
Daylight departed less than two hours into the incident and the incident was yet ongoing, without any prospect of resolution.
It is not clear at this point when, that is, at what minute or what hour, Staudemayer perished. While law enforcement has said that Studemayer was running from one window to another, firing at deputies and officers from varying locations within the house, there are known conditions that make that appear doubtful and the repeated application of the “nonlethal” tactics resulted in repeated destruction of property and materials that replicated, from various locations, the sound of gunfire.
Suggestions that the crippled Staudemayer was moving from point to point within the residence, vectoring gunfire at the deputies and officers to rival the combined firepower of James Northcross, William Travis, Davy Crocket, José Esparza, George Kimble and Jim Bowie at the Alamo does not square with the reality that he was simply not energetic or nimble enough to reposition himself to take that many shots.
More than five hours into the siege and after a lull as law enforcement personnel attempted to get Staudemayer to come out on his own accord, the department redoubled its efforts, firing more canisters of what is believed to have been teargas or another chemical agent such as bear spray mist into the home’s by-then glassless window apertures.
Shortly after 9:20 p.m., the department fired flash bang ordnance into the house.
According to the department, “At approximately 9:28 p.m., a fire broke out inside the house. The suspect exited, and a lethal force encounter occurred. The suspect was pronounced deceased at the scene. No other persons were injured. The suspect was the only occupant in the house during the incident.”
According to weaponry experts, teargas of the type in use today and pepper spray as is in common use is not flammable. Internet postings by Upland residents, including at least one who claimed to be in visual range of the Staudemayer home when it began to burn, suggested the flash bang grenades had precipitated the fire.
An external video taken at around 9:30 p.m. which is purported to show Staudemayer coming out of the house, at which point he is shot, has been played and replayed by the Sentinel. An exhaustive examination of the video does not appear to depict Staudemayer at any point.
The department maintains that Staudemayer was struck by gunfire as he was leaving the house. The department remains silent on whether Staudemayer was carrying a firearm as he came out of the house or whether he had been shooting in the seconds or minutes prior to his emergence.
According to those who knew him. Staudemayer would not have been able to prop himself up in a steady position using his canes and and simultaneously fire a weapon, either a handgun, rifle or shotgun.
The Los Angeles-based television station KTLA had a news crew on the scene. Footage from that station’s broadcasted report showed flames engulfing the home with smoke pouring out of what appeared to be the front door and windows, while firefighters with the San Bernardino County Fire Department, which serves as the fire department in Upland, are attempting to bring the flames under control.
It is known that in the midst of the siege, a member of the U.S. Marshal’s Office rolled up to the scene, departed from his vehicle and surveyed the situation.
On Tuesday, the San Bernardino County Fire Department was said to be looking into the cause of the fire and its point of origin. As of press time, whether a determination in that regard has been reached or what it is was not publicly available.
Rumors were circulation that Staudemayer was dead inside the house as many as four hours before fire overran the house.
Meanwhile, it has been reported to the Sentinel that the video footage shot from within the house has been safely uploaded to the icloud and is safely, as well, in the possession of a law firm to whom Staudemayer entrusted it even as the events which led to his death were unfolding. Those images are date/time stamped, such that there may be images to demonstrate that Staudemayer was indeed, as the sheriff’s department claims, firing upon deputies. It is possible, as well, that the videos may demonstrate that Staudemayer was not in a position to fire upon the deputies as the sheriff’s department claims. The date/time stamp might also allow examiners of the video to match sounds of alleged explosions or alleged shots fired to demonstrate that the department was mischaracterizing what was actually occurring, including if some members of the department misinterpreted activity by other members of the department as hostile action on Staudemayer’s part.
Even if, indeed, the department made misrepresentations about the events of Monday afternoon and Monday night, it is not clear, following Staudemayer’s death, whether there is an entity with standing ready to take up the cause of seeking redress for what might have befallen him. His parents are dead and he did not appear to have any living close family members or heirs.
The law firm in possession of the videos, however, would appear to be in a position, should it choose to do so, to force the issue of comparing the evidence it possesses to the assertions of fact that will be generated in any number of police reports to be written by the deputies and officers involved in what occurred on November 20.
Police officers who have been provably dishonest in their comportment while on duty are referred to as “Brady cops,” a term that grew out of a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of Brady vs. Maryland which holds that the prosecution must turn over all evidence that might exonerate a defendant, including any information which might suggest that the police officers involved in putting a case together against a suspect in a crime have not been truthful or forthcoming, either in their testimony or police reports. While both the sheriff’s officers and Upland Police officers who were present when Staudemayer ended up dead may be tempted to put into their police reports a rendering of facts that may be economic with the truth in order to vindicate themselves in the action they took or watched others engage in, they might not be able to get away unscathed with such misrepresentations, which, if played out in any direction might prove problematic in terms of their careers as peace officers.

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