By Trevor Montgomery, Riverside County News Source
HEMET – Hemet police officers managed to safely take a knife-wielding, suicidal subject into protective custody Saturday, Dec. 17. The volatile incident began shortly before 2:45 p.m. in the 200 block of S. State Street in Hemet.
The incident began when City of Hemet emergency dispatchers received a 911 call from a frantic citizen reporting a suicidal subject who was cutting himself with a knife and threatening to kill himself. The man was also threatening to kill officers or anyone else who tried to help him.
Officers arrived within minutes and quickly located the man, who was still armed with a knife and threatening to kill anyone who came near him. The subject was pacing back and forth behind a closed fence while yelling incoherently and telling officers to shoot him.
Officers on scene requested emergency assistance from any available officers as they began to negotiate with the suicidal subject. They also requested City of Hemet firefighters and AMR medics to stage in the area.
Officers at the scene reported the man was bleeding heavily from his face, legs and three large self-inflicted lacerations to his arm. They also reported the man was continuing to cut himself and threaten officers and others.
Despite their efforts, officers could not convince the subject to drop the knife. He became more irate and volatile, continuing to yell for officers to shoot and kill him.
While officer’s kept the suicidal man’s attention towards the front of the residence, other officers risked their own lives and began evacuating citizens from the home and other nearby residences. It was not immediately known what connection the man had with the residents of the home or if he resided at the location.
As the officers continued negotiating with the suicidal subject, he began cutting himself on his neck and chest.
The man eventually dropped his knife but he did not calm down and continued yelling for officers to shoot him.
Officers, who were armed with Tazers, beanbag shotguns and other lethal alternatives prepared to advance towards the man so he could be detained and receive medical care for his numerous self-inflicted lacerations.
At about 2:55 p.m., ten minutes after the call was dispatched, officers reported they had subdued the man with a Tazer deployment and were taking him into protective custody.
Once they had the man subdued, officers immediately requested firefighters and medics to the location to evaluate and treat the man’s lacerations. Firefighters and medics, who had been waiting nearby, arrived at the location less than one minute later.
The subject was taken to Hemet Valley Hospital for evaluation and treatment of his injuries and then held for a psychiatric evaluation.
Other than the man’s self-inflicted wounds, there were no reported injuries to citizens or police officers.