Naked man in shed on SE Rhone Street threatens cops

Take a look at another good example of how Portland Police are able to ‘talk down’ potentially-violent suspects – this time, in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood …

This Traffic Division police officer in outer East Portland blocks traffic going east on SE Rhone Street at SE 136th Avenue while they talk with a man who is locked in a shed, threatening to come out shooting.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

A Powellhurst-Gilbert family became concerned when, on the morning of June 14, they heard weird noises coming from their back yard shed. When the residents realized that it was not a large animal – but a man, instead – they called police.

Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct officers were called to the property, in the 13900 block of SE Rhone Street, at 8:42 a.m., and heard grunts and shouting coming from inside the shed.

“Officers spoke with the resident, learning that nobody should be in the shed, and the resident did not know who the person was inside,” related PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson.

Wearing heavy body armor, in case the suspect opened fire, a Portland Police SERT member prepares to get into position.

Officers attempted to communicate with the man inside the shed, but he yelled that he had a gun and would shoot at the officers, Simpson said.

Police began to evacuate neighbors surrounding the home, while they waited for both the PPB Special Emergency Reaction Team and the Crisis Negotiation Team to arrive at the scene.

Mental health professionals and police make a plan to draw the barricaded man out of the shed.

Members of the PPB Behavioral Health Unit and Project Respond also came to the scene, and worked together to safely contain the shed, and to attempt further communication with the subject.

“We could hear something banging around in their shed,” said a neighbor, taking shelter in a TriMet bus. “He was yelling something, but it was more like ‘bear grunts’ that we heard.”

Using their communication skills, the negotiators talked the suspect into coming out at 10:45 a.m. “A 51-year-old man came out of the shed on his own, completely naked, and was taken into custody without incident,” Simpson said.

Officers pass the word that the danger is over, and a mentally-ill person has been detained.

After being evaluated by paramedics, the man – who remains unnamed – was taken to a local hospital. “The man is not expected to face any charges, and was suffering a mental health crisis,” Simpson remarked.

No firearms were found inside the shed, by the way, and (ahem) nothing was found on his person.

© 2016 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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