Madera Police diffuse standoff with possibly suicidal man by appearing to disappear

MADERA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Madera Police say a man was smashing windows, and making threats, all while yelling for officers to kill him during a standoff at an apartment complex Monday.

In the end, the officers were able to end the situation peacefully, by making it seem like they weren't there at all.

Investigators determined it was all the police presence that was agitating the man even more, so they decided the best way to resolve the situation, was by making it seem like they weren't here at all.

The standoff started when at around 10 am officers were asked to make a welfare check on the man that lived at an apartment near Raymond Road and Cleveland Avenue. Investigators say the man started smashing the windows of his apartment and ultimately walked out with a knife.

Madera Police Commander Giachino Chiaramonte told Action News that the man, "Came out numerous times, agitated with a knife saying he just wanted us to kill him. It was like he was asking someone else to do it. He already attempted to slit his wrists. He had pieces of glass and was trying to cut his neck."

Cdr. Chiaramonte says that with a mental health clinician on site, they tried to talk him down.

"The uniform presence alone was obviously his trigger factor, and caused him to become more irate, and caused him to do more damage to himself."

So the Madera Police tried a different approach.

"The idea was to pull back the marked uniforms and units so he wasn't seeing that and we can try to get him to calm down," said Cdr. Chiaramonte.

Madera Police Lieutenant Josiah Arnold said that even though it may have seemed like it, officers never left the scene.

"They were in unmarked cars to monitor him. In the end, a family member came and took him to an ambulance."

Police say this isn't a new tactic, but say the goal is always to try and end a standoff with little to no force, if possible.

"We are trying to pre-plan and prepare for what his moves could be and make sure we're in a place where we can diffuse it and not go into lethal force," said Cdr. Chiaramonte.

Police aren't releasing the victim's identify since it's a mental health issue at this point, and they don't have any indication that he was under the influence.

The man was taken to a nearby hospital for his injuries.

Officers say it's likely the man won't face charges, but it's possible.

He is going to be evaluated by doctors while investigators follow up with witnesses at the apartment complex.
Copyright © 2019 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.