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Police talk down suicidal man following tense standoff east of Nelson

Nelson Police were forced to deploy a conducted Energy Device to subdue to man before taking him to hospital.

In a media release Wednesday, Nelson Police said officers were able to get a suicidal man help following a scary incident on the shores of Kootenay Lake east of Nelson Monday.

The situation unfolded Monday, January 11, 2021 when NPD members were requested to check the well-being of an adult man visiting Nelson.

Police said the complainant reported that the man was emotionally and mentally unwell due to a family death and had made statements leading to believe he may be suicidal. 

Police also had reason to believe that the male possessed the potential for violence.

“Members of the Nelson Police Department immediately set to locating the male,” the NPD media release said, adding the man had taken a drive and was not seen for roughly half the day. 

“After a number of hours the officers were able to locate the male east of Nelson.”

Police said once the officers made contact, and verbal dialogue was started between officers and the distraught man. 

However, during verbal engagement, the man fled on foot away from police.

“As the male fled, he demonstrated his potential for violence,” Nelson Police said.

“After shouting at police, the male presented a knife and placed it against his neck. . . . Police calmly followed while maintaining dialogue.”

Police said the distraught male walked into the shallow water of the beach while threatening “suicide by police”. 

Nelson Police said the officers contained the male so he could not leave the area. 

During containment, the man made numerous phone calls while the officers attempted to de-escalate the situation. 

Nelson Police said during those conversations while the man was talking on the telephone, he drank liquor and snorted a white powder from a clear plastic bag.

“After considerable negotiations the male appeared to begin to suffer from the effects of the substances he had been ingesting,” Nelson Police said.

“An impact device was deployed by police without achieving the desired effect,” Nelson Police added.

“A conducted Energy Device was deployed, which caused the male to be incapacitated.”

Police rushed into the water, wrestled the knife from the man's hand and took him into custody.

Police said the male was then transported to Kootenay Lake Hospital where he was treated for minor physical injuries and an apparent substance overdose.