San Mateo police standoff with armed man who set booby traps ends peacefully

in Crime

No one was injured following a two-hour ordeal at a San Mateo home Thursday night during which police say they used de-escalation tactics to convince an armed man suffering from a mental health crisis to surrender.

During the crisis, which began just after 10 p.m. at a home in the unit block of Olive Court, officers removed potential hostages from their bedroom windows, communicated directly with occupants trapped in windowless rooms and dodged “booby traps” apparently set up to trip them, according to San Mateo police.

The incident began when a caller phoned 911 reporting her roommate was outside of her bedroom armed with knives and acting unstably, police said. The person in crisis was reportedly experiencing delusions and had threatened to murder two roommates.

Officers trained in crisis intervention, as well as Emergency Response Team officers, attempted negotiations and learned five people were in the home. Believing they could become hostages, officers took actions to evacuate occupants.

While officers attempted to negotiate with the man for two hours, he refused to establish a line of communication. Officers entered the home and continued negotiations to disarm. At 12:17 a.m., he surrendered and was transported for treatment at a mental health facility.

During the incident, the man had set booby traps including tripping hazards and a soap-covered floor, police said.

“We are grateful no one was injured during this dangerous call for service,” police said.