News

Police in armed standoff with 'mentally ill' man

No shots fired, man falsely claimed to be armed, police say

No shots were fired in an armed standoff with a 63-year-old transient man who claimed he had a gun, police said.

The police apprehended the man, whom they described as "mentally ill" and "suicidal," on the morning of Jan. 7, near the intersection of The Americana and El Camino Real, said Mountain View police spokeswoman Liz Wylie. Staff at the nearby offices of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation called police at 6:30 a.m. to report the man. "He was irate and claimed to have a gun," Wylie said.

The man told police officers he had a gun, keeping his hand tucked into his jacket. According to Wylie, he repeatedly asked officers to shoot him.

While the police did draw their guns, no shots were fired, Wylie said. Instead, a number of officers were able to sneak up behind the man, who was sitting on an electric-powered mobility device. Wylie said the police forced him to the ground in a "controlled manner."

He had a small scrape on his hand, "but that may have happened prior to us detaining him," Wylie said.

Wylie said that police always take apparent disabilities into account when dealing with people. However, because the man claimed to have a gun and was acting erratically, she said the officers acted appropriately.

It turned out that the man was unarmed and able to walk on his own, Wylie said. He was not arrested, but he was taken to a hospital where he was held for a psychiatric evaluation. "This is really a case of a mentally ill person," Wylie said.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by The Eye
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 9, 2012 at 4:26 pm

The Eye is a registered user.

If that is the same fellow that was sitting with his sign near the entrance of the Lucky's store, sitting in his electrical scooter-chair, I remember seeing there that very morning, as my wife and myself went to the store. I believe he was a vet, as indicated by his sign.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by NW Resident
a resident of North Whisman
on Jan 10, 2012 at 10:02 am

Is the term "armed standoff" really appropriate for the title and description of this story? The man claimed to have a gun, but none was ever seen and it was later determined that he was unarmed.

I suppose the term "standoff" could be used since the man was forcing the police to take some sort of action, which they accomplished in a very controlled and safe manner.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 10, 2012 at 10:48 am

Step out of line and the man come take you away.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by afasdfasdfasf
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jan 10, 2012 at 7:01 pm

No, that's not an armed standoff at all. It's an unnecessarily sensationalistic headline, though.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by asfasdfasdf
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jan 10, 2012 at 7:03 pm

@Observer: stop, hey, what's that sound.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by James
a resident of Castro City
on Jan 13, 2012 at 8:27 am

It was an armed standoff. The cops were armed. If some guy says he has a gun, you gotta assume that it may be true (would you bet your life that he was lying?)


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