Officers with the South Pasadena Police Department (SPPD) found themselves in the unenviable position Wednesday afternoon of confronting an armed suicidal man with a large kitchen knife pressed into his neck but were able to talk the man down, disarm him, and peaceable resolve the entire incident.

So Pas Police officers quickly ascertained the potentially volatile incident Wednesday afternoon in the 1600 block of Amberwood Drive that involved the man locked behind a closed door apparently under the influence of a number of pills and with bleeding wrists.
“On April 17th at 2:54 p.m., South Pasadena Police officers were called to the 1600 block of Amberwood Drive in response to a suicidal subject,” according to a press release issued by the  SPPD Thursday morning. “The subject told his family members that he had consumed numerous pills and slit his wrists.”

Police arrived within two minutes of the call and discovered the man was locked inside his apartment. They knocked several times to no avail and finally had to break through the door. They discovered the man in the back bedroom on a bed with a large kitchen knife “to his throat.”

“Officers observed the subject was bleeding from his wrists and appeared to be pushing the knife further into his neck,” the press release states. “Officers asked the subject several times to put down the knife and talk with them. The subject insisted on taking his life and told the officers he had taken approximately 90 pills.”
Officers continued to talk to the man in an attempt to build some kind of rapport, according to police. The man apparently became distracted for an unknown reason, which is when officers disarmed him and gained control of the situation.

“Eventually the subject was distracted and officers were able to use a six-foot prying tool to knock the knife out of his hands and gain control of his arms,” according to the press release. “Officers immediately began first-aid until paramedics entered the apartment and provided medical attention. The subject was transported to Huntington Memorial Hospital for further treatment.”

So Pas Captain Brian Solinsky applauded the action of the officers in an email to The Review.

“I am extremely proud of the organization and the officers,” Solinsky said in the email. “As is the case in almost every encounter, the officers used extreme caution and care for the safety of all involved. They were able to de-escalate a tense situation and avoid the need for deadly force.”
Solinsky added that the situation presented the officers “both tactical and safety dilemmas,” which they successfully navigated to resolve the incident without further injury.

No officers or anyone else was reported injured during this incident.


Steve Whitmore is the editor for the South Pasadena Review. Steve has spent more than four decades as an award-winning print and broadcast journalist with a 16-year stint as the senior media advisor for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Steve comes to us from the Keene Sentinel in Keene, New Hampshire, where he covered politics and was a columnist.

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