Santa Barbara Police Officers Peacefully Arrest Armed Suspect in Mental Distress

Santa Barbara Police Officers Peacefully Arrest Armed Suspect in Mental Distress title=
Santa Barbara Police Officers Peacefully Arrest Armed Suspect in Mental Distress
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Source: Santa Barbara Police Department

On August 3, 2021, around 9:20am, the Santa Barbara Police Combined Communications Center received a 9-1-1 call from a resident in the area of 1500 West Valerio Street. The caller reported a family member armed themselves with two large kitchen knives in a threatening manner and was acting bizarre.

Multiple Officers responded to this call, as well as two members of the Crisis Negotiations Response Team (CNRT), to assist in resolving this incident peacefully and begin negotiations with the subject.

Officers arrived on scene and observed a male subject standing in the doorway of the home holding two large kitchen knives and making non-sensical statements. Officers attempted negotiations multiple times, requesting the subject drop the weapons. The subject then exited their home, now holding a small coffee table and knife in one hand, and another kitchen knife in the other. It appeared to the Officers the coffee table was being used as a makeshift “shield” by the subject.

After repeated failed negotiations, the armed subject moved to the front lawn of the home. Officers became concerned for public safety and feared if the subject fled, they could pose an extreme danger to the community.

The armed subject started approaching one of the Officers. Multiple Officers gave verbal commands to the subject to drop the knives. Due to the threatening actions of the subject, an Officer deployed a less-lethal rubber projectile and struck the subject in the leg. The subject then attempted to gain access to a neighbor’s property while still armed and a second rubber projectile was deployed. Officers continued negotiation and convinced the subject to surrender and drop the knives without further incident.

The subject was temporarily detained and County Crisis Recovery Emergency Services (CARES) responded to evaluate the subject’s mental wellbeing.

A mental health professional from CARES placed a custody hold on the subject for evaluation and treatment and they were transported to Cottage Hospital. The Santa Barbara Police Department’s primary concern was for the wellbeing of the individual who appeared to be suffering from a mental health disorder. No criminal charges are pending. 

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a-1628093260 Aug 04, 2021 09:07 AM
Santa Barbara Police Officers Peacefully Arrest Armed Suspect in Mental Distress

I'm one of those people who think police often over-react, but let's have some loud applause for the nuanced and thoughtful approach by local law enforcement to challenging situations in terms of de-escalation, mental health, etc. If only every police department endorsed and supported such an approach. I don't think most of us realize how difficult it is for police to make split second decisions when you want to guard your own safety and those around you when someone approaches with a weapon. great job, SBPD! thank you

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