RCPD officers lauded for deescalating volatile situation involving armed man

Redwood City officers deescalate volatile situation with armed man

in Community/Crime

A trio of Redwood City police officers is being lauded for deescalating a volatile situation last month involving a knife-wielding man who had threatened to harm himself following an argument with his wife.

The incident unfolded in the 500 block of Harrison Avenue on June 27, with Officer Leila Velez arriving first to assess the scene, followed by Officers Aaron Susman and Peter Cang who negotiated for nearly 20 minutes with the distressed husband, who would eventually give up his knife and surrender without incident.

Officer Velez arrived and reported that the distressed husband was armed and leaving in a vehicle that his wife was driving. When his wife noticed police presence, she stopped the vehicle near the dead end on Harrison.

Officer Susman then arrived to coordinate a perimeter and enable officers to develop a plan while not escalating the situation. Officer Velez called out to the wife to request she run away from the parked vehicle, and spoke with her and learned her husband had made threats to kill himself following their marital argument, police said.

“Officer Susman then approached the parked vehicle and positioned himself near the passenger side door of the vehicle and began negotiating with the subject,” police said. “Shortly thereafter, Officer Cang, a patrol officer with advanced training in crisis negotiations, arrived to assist.”

Officers Susman and Cang negotiated with the husband until he surrendered without incident. During the negotiation, the man had pulled the knife from between his legs and placed it on his wrist to signal he wanted to die, police said.

The husband was subsequently placed on 5150 hold and transported to the hospital for further treatment and evaluation.

“Together, Officer Susman and Cang risked their own personal safety to stay in close proximity to the subject in order to keep the subject engaged in conversation,” police said, crediting continual training for the positive outcome to a potentially life-threatening situation.

Photo courtesy of the Redwood City Police Department