Police Avert A Potential Suicide On Christmas Day

SANATOGA PA – Christmas Day proved to be one of survival, and not potential suicide, for a 21-year-old Lower Pottsgrove man who township police say is receiving medical and mental health assistance.

Police Avert A Potential Suicide On Christmas DayThe man’s identity is not being released “for privacy reasons,” Sgt. Robert Greenwood said Thursday (Dec. 26, 2013), and he has not been charged with any crimes. He posed a threat only to himself Wednesday afternoon (Dec. 25) at about 4:30 p.m. in the 2000 block of Walnut Ridge Estates off Buchert Road, according to Greenwood’s report.

Lower Pottsgrove, Limerick and West Pottsgrove police all responded to a 9-1-1 caller who said a male in the area was armed with a knife and claiming he was prepared to kill himself. Officers arrived to find the man standing outside his home, his right hand bleeding. That injury was self-inflicted, Greenwood explained; the result of punching a tile wall, the sergeant later learned.

There was a military-style knife, with a blade of between 6 and 8 inches long, in the man’s possession. He “made statements” announcing his intention to harm himself, Greenwood reported. He asked police to shoot him, too.

The man “was not violent” toward the officers or others, the sergeant noted, even though he was uncooperative and “would not follow verbal commands.” Police took no chances; neighbors who had gathered to watch were ordered back into their own homes for their safety. Meanwhile, the police kept talking to the man before them.

When Limerick K-9 unit officers arrived on the scene, their dog got the man’s attention. He began complying with commands, Greenwood said, and was successfully detained. The knife, in his pocket, was secured, and emergency medical service responders from Goodwill Ambulance cared for the man’s hand injuries and other medical conditions.

No one else – not the man’s family, or the responders – were injured, Greenwood said.

The man was transported to the hospital for treatment, and will be seen for a mental health evaluation.

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