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An hours-long standoff between law enforcement and a 43-year-old Oxnard man who was holding a knife to his own throat, threatening to kill himself, ended Wednesday afternoon in Montecito when deputies were able to subdue the man.
Paul Robinette was taken into custody at about 12:40 p.m. as he stood near the side of his vehicle.
Deputies deployed a “flash-bang” device, which creates a loud noise, to startle and distract Robinette, who then dropped the knife, according to Santa Barbara County sheriff‘s Sgt. Mark Williams.
Deputies subsequently fired several non-lethal foam rounds at Robinette, and he fell to the ground, allowing them to take him into custody.
He was loaded into an AMR ambulance, and was taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for examination and treatment.
The incident began shortly before 9 a.m. when deputies responded to the area near Highway 101, Jameson Lane and San Ysidro Road on a report of a man with a knife.
Some roads in the area were shut down, and nearby residents were advised to stay in their homes, according to a sheriff’s spokesman.
At 12:45 p.m., deputies began advising residents it was OK to leave their homes, and indicated roads would remain shut down for another 20-30 minutes.
Robinette had been standing near a car, holding a knife to his throat, and efforts to talk to him via a hostage negotiation team had been unsuccessful.
Deputies brought in a robot to help survey the scene, and deployed a Bearcat armored vehicle. Law enforcement initially thought that Robinette could have a gun in the trunk of his car, so the robot was able to shut the trunk, allowing deputies to move in, Williams said.
“Our concern was that he could move in and grab the gun and then there’s a shoot out,” he said, and later told reporters that Robinette appears to have a previous history of suicide attempts.
“Hopefully this person is going to get the help he needs,” Williams said.
Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper reported from the scene.
Video shot and contributed by Harry Rabin.