Officers thwart ‘suicide by cop’ attempt

A 20-year-old man who had threatened to commit “suicide by cop” was subdued by Sonoma police at gunpoint Monday night in the Maxwell Village parking lot.

The Windsor man was aggressive and belligerent when police responded to the scene at 8:45 p.m. “He was simulating that he had a gun,” Sgt. Dave Thompson said. “His plan was to get shot by police.”

Earlier, the man’s father had contacted the police department with a warning. The young man was mentally unbalanced and planning to create a “suicide by cop” scenario, the father said. He urged Sonoma police to be on the lookout for his son, who had recently been released from jail.

When the call came in regarding a disturbance at Starbucks, the background information helped officers prepare for the confrontation, Thompson said. The suspect stood in the parking lot, taunting the officers and telling them to shoot him, then took off running. He evaded the deputies, but soon returned and resumed his aggressive behavior.

Officers, guns drawn, took position behind signs and parked cars. “It was a super tense moment,” Thompson said.

Given the background information, and how the suspect was moving his hands beneath his shirt, “we had a feeling that he was bluffing.”

The man took off running again, back towards the retail shops and along the sidewalk to Rite Aid, where he was tackled and tasered. Even after being handcuffed, the suspect continued ranting and raving, Thompson said, and kicked wildly when finally inserted into a police car.

The man was initially charged with felony resisting arrest, and violating


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