HEMET: Officers safely apprehend unstable man armed with knife and hammer

HEMET — A reportedly unstable man who was armed with a knife and hammer while holding the knife to his own throat was safely apprehended without incident Sunday, June 4.

An officer jumps over a small fence while other officers speak with the subject. Timothy Franzese/Public Safety Incidents photo

The subject, who was heard by City of Hemet emergency dispatchers yelling that he wanted to die, was taken into custody at the Devonshire Downs Mobile Home park at 260 N. Lyon Avenue in Hemet.

The subject, who has not yet been named by officials, was arrested for violating a restraining order that prohibited him from being at his mother’s residence, where the incident and arrest happened.

Hemet police officers responded to the location shortly after noon, when emergency dispatchers received a frantic 911 call from the subject’s mother, who had previously sought and obtained the restraining order against her son.

The victim initially told dispatchers her son was armed with a knife and that he was holding the weapon to his throat, threatening to kill himself. The woman then told dispatchers her son had armed himself with a second weapon, the hammer, and he was yelling that he wanted responding officers to shoot and kill him.

At that point the terrified mother fled to her bedroom where she barricaded herself behind the room’s locked door. She remained on the phone with dispatchers until her son was safely detained.

Based on the circumstances, multiple officers began responding to the location, with the first officer arriving just under two minutes after the call was dispatched.

Authorities brought several less lethal force options to the incident, including a pepperball launcher, bean-bag shotgun and Tazers. Timothy Franzese/Public Safety Incidents photo

With the victim temporarily safe and barricaded in her bedroom and the man reportedly armed with multiple weapons in another part of the mobile home – rather than rush into the potentially deadly situation alone, the first arriving officer held back a short distance from the residence – while waiting for less-lethal force options, including a bean-bag shotgun and a pepperball launcher.

Once several other officers arrived at the location with the less-lethal weapons, they made a cautious approach towards the residence and surrounded the home.

Within moments of surrounding the location, with lethal and less-lethal options available, one officer positioned to the rear of the mobile home reported seeing the subject walk out of the residence through a rear door.

Seeing the man was no longer armed, officers directed him at gunpoint towards the front of the residence. Just two minutes later, authorities had taken the man into custody without incident.

Officers arrested the man for violation of the restraining order against him. It was not immediately known if he was taken to a hospital for a mental health evaluation prior to being booked into jail for the restraining order violation.

No citizens or officers were injured during the short but dangerous incident.

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Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

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Trevor Montgomery runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News and Anza Valley Outlook and also writes for Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg and breaking his back in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 26 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 12 – soon to be 13 – grandchildren.

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