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ITHACA, NY -- In-person appointments were canceled at Tompkins County Mental Health on Jan. 3 after a person having a mental health crisis required a police response. Ithaca Police was dispatched to the Mental Health Building at 201 E Green St. just after 10 a.m. for a report of a person "acting out of control," according to police. When police arrived they found a person having a mental health crisis had barricaded themselves in the ground floor lobby bathroom and was allegedly making threats. They were armed with "an edged weapon," police said.

The Ithaca-Tompkins Specialized Response Team and the Ithaca-Tompkins Crisis Negotiation Team were both activated after initial attempts by Ithaca police officers for this person to exit the bathroom were unsuccessful.

After almost two hours of attempts by crisis negotiators to get the person to exit the bathroom were unsuccessful, "less lethal options" were used, according to police. The person did emerge from the bathroom just before noon and became physical with police officers and deputies who were trying to take them into custody, police said. Additional "less lethal options" were used, and the person was taken into custody around 1 p.m. They were transported by Bangs Ambulance to an area hospital for a mental health examination.

This incident is under investigation and criminal charges are pending at this time. All appointments will resume as scheduled on Jan. 4. 

(2) comments

Richard Ballantyne

Well done. This is why officers need not just intelligence, but also physical strength and speed, all of which serve to prevents unnecessary deaths. There should be minimum standards for all of the above that people must meet and maintain in order to serve in law enforcement.

Peter Borst

I am sorry but I think the term "less lethal" is an incredibly poor choice. How can something be more or less lethal? If the subject is more or less dead? Perhaps, non-lethal would be more appropriate. Yes, I know accidents can happen, but at least the intent is more clear. The intention should be to subdue, without a lethal outcome.

Peter Borst, Danby

Welcome to the discussion.

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