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Tuesday, November 20 , 2018, 4:55 am | Overcast 49º


Police Talk Down Man Threatening to Hang Himself From Santa Barbara Moreton Bay Fig Tree

Police were able to talk down a man threatening to hang himself from the Moreton Bay Fig Tree near the Santa Barbara Train Station Friday morning, Sgt. Riley Harwood said.

A man was straddling a limb of the huge tree about 15 feet off the ground and had a noose made from a nylon tie-down strap around his neck and attached to the tree, police said.

“He was very distraught and threatening to jump,” Harwood said.

The historic tree is located at 100 W. Montecito St. near the train station.

Patrol officers responded to the scene around 10:35 a.m. as did restorative Office Craig Burleigh, who works closely with the mentally ill and is a crisis negotiator.

Burleigh led negotiating efforts and police were able to contact a relative of the man, described as 40 years old, to learn more about him, Harwood said.

Ultimately Burleigh convinced the man to take the noose off his neck and get out of the tree, Harwood said.

Officers remained at the scene until people from CARES, with the county department of behavioral wellness, could respond to do a mental health assessment. 

Behavioral Wellness has a 24-hour toll-free crisis response and service access line at 888.868.1649. 

“If the crisis places anyone in immediate danger, call 9-1-1,” the county advises.

“If the crisis does not involve immediate danger, and if the person in crisis has insurance coverage through a health plan, call the health plan to get a referral to a covered mental health provider. For all others, call the 24-hour toll-free access line at 888.868.1649. Someone is available to assist you 24 hours per day, seven days per week.”

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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