Richmond police officers calm man armed with knife and leashed pit bull

For first time, RPD hires civilian to handle complaints against cops

Richmond police are praising two of its officers who recently calmed a distraught male armed with a knife and leashed pit bull who had also cut himself several times.

At about 10:15 p.m. on Monday, Officers Anthony Diaz and Joseph Vigil responded to a call in the area of Carlson and Pullman avenues and found the person sitting on a flight of stairs in front of an apartment complex, Lt. Felix Tan said.

“He was extremely agitated and talked about ending his life,” Tan said.

Officer Diaz launched into a negotiation and, after a few minutes, convinced the unstable person to secure his dog by tying him to a fence.

The person grew agitated once more after additional officers arrived at the scene. Officer Diaz is credited with calming him, and both officers “patiently built rapport with the armed subject and talked to him about his outlook on life,” Tan said.

After about 15 minutes of conversation, the male dropped the knife.

He was brought to a hospital for a psychological evaluation, and his dog was released to family members.

“We are extremely proud of our officers’ response,” Tan said in a Facebook post. “They showed discipline under pressure, patience and compassion for the individual during his time of need and cry for help. Excellent job by all!”

Police also released a 24 hour crisis line for those who, like the individual in this story, require professional assistance: 1-800-833-2900.