Standoff with Berkeley police ends with man placed on psychiatric hold

Emilia Bulfone/Staff

Related Posts

A three-hour standoff between police and a man armed with a knife ended peacefully with no parties injured Monday, according to a Berkeley Police Department crime alert.

About 10 a.m., BPD received an emergency call from a residence on the 1500 block of Prince Street. The caller stated that she had locked herself in her bedroom after her 34-year-old son allegedly was smoking drugs and threatened her and her older son.

According to neighbors who witnessed the incident, the block was shut down and police cars from multiple police departments surrounded both entrances to the street.

Kevin Hart, a local who was present during the incident, stated that there were at least 12 police cars and three fire trucks involved.

“A man barricaded himself in his apartment and wouldn’t come out,” said Milton Marshall, a local resident. “A lot of police were here — the Berkeley police, Emeryville and Oakland Police Department.”

According to the crime alert, when the police arrived at the scene, the man went back briefly into the apartment to retrieve a knife, which he then allegedly used to threaten to kill police officers.

The mother was able to take the knife away from her son, who then retreated and locked himself in the apartment alone, according to the alert. After this, law enforcement was able to take the man’s mother and older brother to a safe location.

The alert stated that the man was believed to be mentally ill and under the influence of drugs. Police negotiators and mental health professionals were present on scene to negotiate with the subject, the alert said.

On two occasions during this incident, the subject threw glass bottles at the officers, according to the alert. The bottles shattered at the officers’ feet, but neither party was hurt or injured. After three hours, he agreed to come outside and was then taken to a medical facility on an emergency psychiatric hold.

“It was handled very well: No one got shot, no one got hurt,” Hart said. “That is the main thing.”

Contact Mariah De Zuzuarregui at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @mdezuzuarregui.