San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office deputies de-escalated a volatile situation involving a knife-wielding, suicidal man in San Carlos after the man fell asleep following an hour and a half of negotiations on Tuesday.
About 5:05 p.m., deputies were called to an apartment complex in the 500 block of Elm Street, where they located a man behind a locked metal gate that enclosed the pool area. The man was heavily intoxicated and holding a large kitchen knife to his chest and making suicidal statements, according to deputies, noting he had not threatened anyone else or committed a crime.
The Sheriff’s Office deployed teams of deputies trained in crisis intervention and psychiatric emergency response, and also a drone to assess the scene. After lengthy negotiations, the man refused to comply and begged for deputies to shoot him, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The man eventually fell asleep while up against the fence still holding the knife in his partially opened left hand.
“Using some creativity and outside the box thinking, deputies who were behind cover on the other side of a large fence were able to successfully retrieve the knife from the subject’s hand by using a large, industrial grade magnet, which they affixed to a painter’s pole using duct tape,” the Sheriff’s Office said. “The subject remained asleep throughout the execution of the plan.”
After the knife was secured, deputies detained the man before transporting him to a local hospital for treatment and evaluation.
Photo of the knife and device used to retrieve it courtesy of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office