Police De-Escalate Man Armed With Knife

Man in distressNew Bedford, MA – New Bedford patrol officers were able to peacefully resolve a volatile situation involving a man with a knife on Monday afternoon.

Police were called to a north-end residence to serve a commitment order on an emotionally disturbed person.  Officers were advised that the male had expressed both suicidal and homicidal ideation.  The male was also known to the officers to have been violent in the past.

Upon arrival, the male was located seated in a parked vehicle.  He was holding a kitchen knife which he gestured towards police.  At this time, rather than proceeding forward and engaging a male who was only an immediate threat to himself, the officers stepped back and encouraged communication.  Family members spoke to the male in an effort to calm him down, as did police officers.  Eventually, the male surrendered his weapon, exited the vehicle, and accompanied the police peacefully to the hospital.

The officers on the scene were David Figueiredo, William Suave, Marc Felix, and Lt. Arthur Hegarty.

“I’m proud of the officers’ approach to this call and their commitment to de-escalation during an extremely volatile situation,” said Chief Paul Oliveira. “In the past, police were conditioned to simply charge recklessly forward to resolve a perceived threat.  Today, officers are taking the time to consider all their options.  That’s exactly what happened here, and the result couldn’t have been better.”

If you or anyone you know is experiencing a mental health emergency, you can call or text the Behavioral Health Line which is available 24/7 at 988. The Crisis Center is also available 24/7 at (508) 996-3154. Additionally, The New Bedford Police Department has a clinician response during certain hours by calling 911.