Richmond police sergeant gets armed man to stand down after 30-minute chat

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Richmond police are hailing the deescalation tactics used by a sergeant last week to convince an armed man who had barricaded himself in a bedroom to stand down.

The incident unfolded about 8 p.m. Friday at a home in the area of Cutting and Carlson boulevards, police Lt. Felix Tan said.

Officers were called on a report of a possibly suicidal person who was armed with a knife and under the influence of illegal drugs. When they arrived, family members said the individual suffered from mental illness and had barricaded himself in a bedroom, Tan said.

“Furthermore, the individual refused to come out of the bedroom and told officers they would need to go into the room and ‘kill’ him,” Tan said.

In comes Sgt. Ernest Loucas, a member of RPD’s Crisis Negotiations Team (CNT). Loucas communicated and listened to the armed man through the closed bedroom door.

“After talking and listening for 30 minutes, the individual removed the barricade and unlocked the door,” Tan said. “He was escorted to an awaiting ambulance where he was given the referral and help he needed.”

RPD praised Loucas for handling a situation that ended without injury.

“We are extremely proud of our officers’ patience and their abilities to communicate, listen and calm a potentially violent situation,” Tan said. “We would like to state that statistically, persons with emotional disorders are more of a danger to themselves than to others, and are more likely to be victims than perpetrators of violent acts. If you are in crisis or know someone in crisis and need advice, we encourage you to reach out to this 24 hour crisis line for professional assistance: 1-800-833-2900.”

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