STANDOFF WITH ARMED SUBJECT
On Friday, March 30, at approximately 3 p.m., Officers from the Arcata Police Department responded to the 2100 block of Heather Lane on the report of a man threatening a maintenance worker with a handgun. The incident took place inside an apartment. The maintenance worker was able to flee. He was not injured. The person with the handgun, a 42 year-old male, remained inside the apartment with another resident. During the course of the incident, the armed male in the apartment barricaded himself inside and refused to exit.
The responding Officers secured the area. The apartment was located in a building with several units. The officers worked to make contact with other people in the building. Eventually, those people were moved from the building. None of the other residents were injured during the incident.
During the early stages of the incident, the other male, who had been in the apartment when the brandishing occurred, came outside and he was detained. Through interviews, it was learned that the male in the apartment was known to be armed with a semiautomatic handgun and was suffering from mental health problems.
Contact was established with the male and negotiations to get him to come out were started. He was not cooperative with the APD negotiator's requests to exit and negotiation assistance was obtained from the HSU Police Department. Mental Health representatives were brought to the scene and consulted as the incident progressed. A controlled work area was established in the APD Command Vehicle so that the negotiation team could work more effectively to gain the compliance of the male in the apartment.
At approximately 9 p.m., after nearly five hours of negotiations, the male exited the apartment and was contacted by officers outside. He was unarmed, cooperative and was taken into custody without incident. He was uninjured. After being taken into custody, the male was transported to the Humboldt County Mental Health Crisis Unit for evaluation.
An APD K9 was used to search the apartment and an unloaded semiautomatic pistol with ammunition was located inside. No additional people were located in the apartment. During the subsequent investigation, the weapon and ammunition were seized and secured by APD Officers.
The Arcata Police Department received significant assistance in managing this incident. Including the initial response, the standoff and the resulting investigation, the incident lasted well over six hours. During the incident, assistance was obtained from the Humboldt State University Police Department, the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department, the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services, Mental Health Branch, as well as a number of citizens in the area.
Note: A more complete version of this story will appear in the April 4, 2012 Arcata Eye. – Ed.