A nearly 12-hour standoff ended with a suicidal person surrendering safely to authorities early Thursday morning.

On Wednesday at approximately 4:20 p.m., the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office received multiple reports of a male subject lying in the ditch on U.S. 68 South near the Ohio Department of Transportation garage, according to a news release from the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office. Callers indicated that the individual could possibly be drunk or in an altered mental state.

“Upon making contact, the individual became agitated and produced a knife, advising the deputy that he would do harm to himself or the deputy if the deputy came any closer,” stated CCSO Col. Brian Prickett. “The individual then retreated into a cornfield holding the knife to his neck.”

U.S. 68 South was closed to vehicular traffic to ensure the safety of the individual and responding units. Additional officers from the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office and the Wilmington Police Department were dispatched to the scene. A life squad from Wilmington Fire and EMS was placed on standby near the scene as well.

“Upon engaging in a conversation with the individual, in an effort to understand what issues he may be having, it was apparent that the individual was experiencing a severe mental health event,” Prickett stated. “A representative from Butler Behavioral crisis intervention responded to the scene to speak with the individual, as well in an effort to evaluate the best course of action in obtaining help for this individual.

“During the course of the nearly 12-hour event, the individual continued to make threats to harm himself, all while having a range of emotions from calm at times to extremely agitated. The person finally agreed to surrender the knife and go to the hospital when CCSO Lt. Mike Kassinos and Deputy Alicia Ellis, who is a certified hostage negotiator and de-escalator, were able to convince the individual that officers were concerned for his safety and well-being and just wanted to get him help.”

The person, whose name was not released by police, was transported to Clinton Memorial Hospital without incident by Wilmington Fire and EMS.

“Law enforcement officers as well as EMS personnel locally and nationwide have had to meet a growing need in dealing with persons who suffer from mental health emergencies,” stated Prickett. “Officers have received additional training over the past decade in understanding how to handle these types of emergencies and how to guide them to a successful and safe conclusion.

“We would like to thank the Wilmington Police Department, Wilmington Fire and EMS, Ohio Department of Transportation and Butler Behavioral for their assistance during this event,” he added. “It is great to live in a community where multiple agencies work in a collaborative effort when an event like this occurs.”


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