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'Suicide by cop' prevented by Calif. police, behavioral health team

Rialto police and the San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health helped de-escalate a situation where a man was threatening harm to himself with a knife


By Beatriz Valenzuela
San Bernardino Sun

RIALTO, Calif. — A collaboration Monday between Rialto police and the San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health helped de-escalate a situation where police say a man was threatening “suicide by cop.”

Just before noon, officers were called to a home in the 300 block of East Huff Street by someone stating that a loved one, a 37-year-old man, had threatened to harm himself with a knife and had reportedly made comments that he wanted police to shoot him, according to a police statement.

Detective David Padilla, a crisis negotiator with the Inland Valley SWAT team, arrived at the home and tried to speak to the distraught man, officials said. After some time, Padilla requested the Triage Engagement Support Team — known as TEST — come to the location.

The TEST team is made up of Rialto police officers and two behavioral health specialists who have been assigned to the department five days a week to assist with crisis situations.

Padilla managed to convince the man to come outside of his home, where he was first detained and then given the chance to speak to a TEST specialist, officials said.

After some time, the man reportedly agreed to get professional help and was taken to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center Behavioral Health Department. No one was injured during the tense situation.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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