Police in Hollister safely detained a man who claimed he was armed with a gun and threatened to harm himself and others in a local neighborhood, authorities said. 

On May 7, police responded to a call from an adult male who advised he was in the area of the 800 block of Line Street, according to the Hollister Police Department. The man told authorities he was currently harming himself. He said he had a firearm and would use it against police officers who would arrive at the scene. 

Officers on two shifts “realized the gravity of the situation and the potential dangers of a man possibly armed and displaying suicidal behavior,” says a press release from Hollister Police. Responding officers staged a few blocks away from the location where the man was, while they attempted to gather more information before making closer contact. 

While officers were responding, emergency dispatchers were on the phone with the subject attempting to deescalate the situation, police said. Officers identified the man and determined they had contacted him previously for potential gang activity and gun-related allegations. 

A responding officer spoke with the man via cell phone, also attempting to deescalate the incident, authorities said. The man continued to make threats to harm police when they arrived. 

Due to the threats to police and the man’s suicidal behavior, officers prepared “less than lethal options” to subdue the subject, including bean bag rounds and pepper ball projectiles, police said. 

Police then approached the area on Line Street from two separate directions, and observed an adult male “walking quickly and aggressively toward them,” Hollister Police said. An officer gave commands to the man, who initially was not compliant. 

After a brief standoff, the subject complied and officers determined he was not armed, police said. He was detained without further incident, and transported to a nearby hospital for a mental health evaluation. 

“It appears the man was attempting to instigate an incident where law enforcement would shoot him,” police said in the press release. 

Police will refer potential charges to the San Benito County District Attorney’s Office. The police department’s press release did not identify the man.

The press release added, “The Hollister Police Department prides itself on its constant training and preparedness for situations such as these to ensure our officers have the tools, training and ability to…bring incidents like this to a safe conclusion.” 

The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (www.sprc.org) explains that many individuals are affected by mental health problems. “Mental health issues aren’t signs of weakness or character flaws. There are many ways to get help and support, including telephone and online sources of assistance, mental health services, peer support and other options,” says the press release. “There are health care professionals who are specially trained to assess suicide risk and provide effective treatment for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. There is hope.”

Anyone who feels suicidal or is in need of mental health services can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1.800.273.8255. 

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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