A 10-hour standoff between a distraught man and police at the Harvest Moon Trailer Park along Route 220 in Woodward Township ended peacefully early Saturday morning with the man's surrender, state police said Monday.
"We activated our special emergency response team, which included troopers from across the state with skills in tactical operations and negotiations," state police Capt. David Young said of the incident that began late Friday afternoon and ended about 2:30 a.m. Saturday. "The man faces no criminal charges whatsoever and remains safe."
Young acknowledged the situation was unusual and required police to keep residents of the trailer park at a safe distance from the man's mobile home.
A resident of the court who contacted the Sun-Gazette said she and others were told to stay inside their mobile homes and claimed some residents had evacuated.
After 4 p.m., the woman said, police wouldn't let anyone in the trailer court near where the situation was occurring. Another man reportedly saw a sniper in his yard and police using tear gas and flash grenades, she said.
Young declined to comment about the specifics of the operation or to confirm or deny whether the man was carrying a weapon or had weapons in his possession.
"We make tactical decisions across the board to find the best peaceful resolution and to secure medical treatment to individuals involved in crime and non-crime," Young said. "Police deal with a lot of different types of people, mental health or criminal issues, and we put specialty teams with expertise on it."
He added: "That's the extent of it, without divulging further details."
In general, the bar is set high when officials deal with people who may have mental health issues, said Joe Radley, a spokesman for the Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities office in the city.
The requirements for commitment are high because of state mental health procedures and regulations, he said.
Any individual may contact the office with concerns about somebody if they are a responsible individual who is a first-hand reporter or witnesses the behavior themselves, Radley said. "The person must demonstrate a danger to themselves or others. Our staff is trained to know the standards."
Wherever possible, voluntary treatment should be offered, unless the individual won't or can't. Certain diagnoses don't constitute mental illness such as drug dependence, alcoholism, intellectual disability and senility, Radley said.
"A physician evaluates, not a psychiatrist, in order to make a determination if the individual needs to be treated for up to 120 hours," he said.