A distraught male, holding a large knife against various parts of his body, engaged in a two-and-a-half hour stand-off with Santa Barbara cops in front of the city’s police department on Wednesday afternoon. He finally dropped the knife, was taken into custody at 4:44 p.m., and is currently being evaluated by mental health experts. 

More than 20 officers were engaged at different intervals of the stand-off, during which the man cited a list of grievances, some with the police, while seeming to hurt himself with the blade. Crisis negotiators sought to engage the individual in conversation, and he sought to negotiate the terms of his surrender, according to police spokesperson Anthony Wagner. 

No shots were fired, said Wagner, and numerous non-lethal weapons were on hand and could have been deployed if necessary, but never were. The officers who responded were intent “on preserving the sanctity” of the man’s life, said Wagner, while also protecting their own safety. 

Ultimately, officers did deploy “hands-on” force against the individual about 15 minutes after he put down the knife. The man, Wagner said, was acting in an unspecified menacing manner, giving officers reason to believe he might attack. Wagner would not disclose the man’s name, stating he had not been charged with a crime yet and may not have committed one. 

“He did present some mental health challenges,”  Wagner said. 


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