Dramatic police action ends well
At about 8:00 pm on Saturday, November 30, multiple police vehicles descended on Madison Park, lights flashing and sirens blaring. The squad cars converged at the intersection of 43rd Avenue E. and E. Madison Street, police exiting their vehicles in anticipation of major action. The officers believed that an armed and dangerous criminal suspect was on the loose in the area; so they had good reason for creating the dramatic nighttime scene, which was witnessed by numerous apartment dwellers, restaurant and bar patrons, and passers by who filled the sidewalks to watch the drama unfold. SPD had received a call reporting that a shooting had just taken place, the perpetrator had a gun, and he was walking out of his home to turn himself in. The police discovered their suspect, and with guns drawn they apprehended him. He surrendered peaceably. That was how the scene played out.
But there had been no crime, no victim, and therefore no suspect. It was all a potentially lethal misunderstanding.
Since the incident, we have had several inquires from those who witnessed this police action and wondered what actually transpired. Medic units had been called to the scene to attend the “suspect” and police later escorted the man from the area.
A relative of the “suspect” gave us the story, which we agreed to report without using any names. The incident was the result of an hallucination by a man who is in hospice care at relative’s private residence. Either because of medication or toxins in his body, we are told, the man came to believe that he had shot someone. He called police to report the crime and gave his address to the dispatcher. He apparently then left the residence to meet the police. All of this was without his relative’s knowledge.
When the police apprehended him and he realized he had been experiencing an hallucination the police went to his home, where the relative was about to go out looking for him. With the help of his relative, however, officers quickly figured out the situation and, in the relative’s opinion, “reacted appropriately” given that the “suspect” had been acting bizarrely and holding an object in his hands that the police could not see clearly (it turned out to be a cell phone). “They were “nice and respectful,” according to the relative.
The man is now back in hospice care at his relative’s home. We were told that he had never exhibited this kind of delusional behavior before and that measures have been taken to ensure that this is a one-time occurrence.
Crimes of the Month
As detailed on the map above, November was a month in which there were a lot of car break-ins (the non-solid-car icons), a couple car thefts (solid-car icons), graffiti (the spray-can icons) and miscellaneous cases of fraud (the dollar sign icons), mail theft, and just plan theft (dollar-bill icons). Though not designated with icons on the map, the Edgewater Apartments experienced multiple break-ins of storage units on November 30, as well as another break-in on November 26 of a garage used for storing paint and materials, light bulbs and other maintenance items used by workers at the complex. Several thousand dollars worth of items were taken in each of these incidents.