Trained Officers Deescalated Situation Where Man was Holding Three Large Knives, Threatening Officers
BRIDGEWATER –Chief Christopher D. Delmonte reports that multiple Bridgewater Police officers received letters of commendation yesterday for their efforts last week in helping to save a man’s life after the individual had attempted “suicide by cop” and brandished several large knives at police.
At approximately 7:45 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 23, Bridgewater Police Dispatcher Officer Adam McGrath received multiple abandoned 911 calls before calling back and being able to reach a man who told police that he wanted to “kill someone.”
Bridgewater Police Officer Christopher Rondeau and Officer James Doherty responded and were the first to arrive at a home on Center Street where the 911 calls originated.
When the officers approached the home, a 69-year-old Bridgewater man with a muscular build exited the house with his shirt off and carrying two knives in one hand and a third knife in the other.
The man was aggressive and began to charge toward the officers with the knives. The officers backed away, drew their firearms and ordered the man to stop and drop the weapons.
Soon after, Officers Gino Sergio, Nicholas Mantalos, Clint Apaza, Canine Officer Steven Kingsley and K9 Papi also arrived to the house.
The man told the officers that he wanted them to shoot him. It became clear to the officers that this was a serious mental health situation, which the officers are trained to respond to due to their training in dealing with mental health, critical incidents and deescalation.
They told the man they did not want to hurt him and some of the officers holstered their firearms and transitioned to their Taser-brand electronic control devices.
Through the deescalation efforts, the officers were able to get the man to drop two of the knives on the ground. The man still held one large knife and raised it above his head in both hands and plunged it toward his stomach as if he was going to stab himself.
When the man raised the knife above his head again, Officer Doherty deployed his Taser, striking the man in his hip and shin. The Taser deployment caused the man to drop the knife and fall to the ground. At which point the officers quickly moved in to get the knife away from the man and safely detain him.
The man injured his shoulder when he fell to the ground. Shift supervisor Sgt. Jack Hennessey filed for the man to undergo a mental health evaluation and ensured that the man was transported to a local hospital safely by a Bridgewater Fire Department ambulance to be treated.
No charges have been filed.
Because of the actions of the responding officers, they were able to deescalate the man’s actions and prevented serious injury or possible death to both the man and officers.
“This was a prime example of professional police officers using their training to resolve a serious and potentially tragic situation, and I wish to commend and recognize all of the officers involved in this call,” Chief Delmonte said. “The officers relied on their training, exercised good judgment, worked as a team, took decisive action early and followed established protocols for dealing with persons in a mental health crisis. This man was capable of hurting many people, including himself and responding officers.”
“When we put our uniforms on everyday, we never know what that day may bring and that includes a human being in the midst of a mental health crisis, rushing out of his home with knives in each hand, charging toward our officers. Thanks to their professionalism, this man is still alive today and is getting help.”