Police Take Precautions In Dealing with Despondent Man

May 15, 2007
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police were summoned to the 500 Block of South College Street Monday after a concerned mother living in Lebanon had called to report that her 37 year son was despondent and threatening suicide.

Chief Thomas J. Stufano says \"Upon arrival to the scene, Police found the man's step-mother in the yard stating that she also believed that her stepson was suffering from depression and did in fact have a loaded gun in the house. Officers quickly cordoned off the street in front of the residence in order to contain the incident. Further investigation and conversation with the biological mother via phone noted that her son made a threat to her that he would \"use his toe to pull the trigger\". Police were positioned throughout the neighborhood, especially along the south side of the residence which bordered the ball-field where over 200 people were in attendance at a game.\"

As a precaution Paramedics were summoned to standby. After almost 45 minutes the man was talked out of the house by Chief Stufano.

Chief Stufano a trained FBI Hostage Negotiator and former US Homeland Security official has been involved with negotiating numerous airline hijackings during his tenure. Chief Stufano stated \"my main concerns included the innocent by-standers, the officers and the victim\". \"However long it took to resolve the situation we were prepared to wait to reach a peaceful solution\"

Officers were able to successfully gain entry into the house and secured three shotguns and a loaded pistol one of which was near the subjects' bed. With the help of neighborhood residents who allowed officers access to their homes to setup perimeters, a potentially lethal event was averted. Officers at the scene were able to talk to the man and the parents to a successful resolution without further incident.

Chief Stufano stated that he \"credits the Neighborhood Watch Program for much of the department's continued success and thanks the citizens for their input and help.\"

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