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Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Deputies Resolve Confrontation with Suicidal Woman

At approximately 3 p.m. on Feb. 5, sheriff’s deputies from the Goleta Valley Patrol Bureau responded to a home in the 5000 block of San Vicente Drive to check the welfare of a woman who called 9-1-1 stating she was suicidal and holding a knife to her neck.

Once deputies arrived, the 58-year-old Santa Barbara woman could be heard talking inside the residence, but she refused to come outside to speak with deputies or accept help from the ambulance waiting nearby.

Eventually, the woman did emerge from the home. However, she was holding a large butcher knife and repeatedly told deputies she wanted to kill herself.

Sheriff’s Deputies spoke with the woman as she stood on her front porch holding the knife for some time in an attempt to de-escalate the situation and resolve it peacefully.

As deputies were speaking with her, however, it appeared as though the woman was about to make an attempt to either harm herself or the deputies.

At that point, a deputy deployed a single “sponge round” from a 40-mm "less lethal" launcher, which was immediately effective and caused the woman to drop the knife.

Deputies were then able to safely assist paramedics in transporting her to a local hospital for treatment and a mental health evaluation.

John Maxwell is a sergeant with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.


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