WARWICK POLICE DEPARTMENT
99 Veterans Memorial Drive
Warwick, Rhode Island 02886
August 3, 2014
Potential “Suicide by Cop” Successfully Defused
At approximately 1:21 AM this morning, Warwick officers responded to The Pleasure Marina, located at 11 Ottawa Avenue, at the request of a concerned relative that a 54 year old male, a former North Kingstown resident, was threatening suicide by firearm citing depression due medical and employment issues. The relative advised caution as it was indicated that the subject did own a firearm. It was further advised that he was now living on the boat due to his problems.
Sergeant James Valkoun, Detective Jeffery Viveiros, Officer Danial DiMaio and Officer Evan Brent responded to the Marina and found the location of the boat and could see a subject inside the cabin of the boat and this subject had what appeared to be a firearm in his hand. Upon observing this situation, the officers deployed tactically in the area of the boat. They then attempted to engage the subject in a dialogue with the intent of getting him to drop the weapon so they could get him some help. This subject became irritated with the police, stating he wanted to be left alone so he could end his life. Police continued a dialogue with him in an effort to get him to calm down, pleading with him to drop the weapon and that they could get him the help he needs.
At this point, the subject attempted movement towards the officers by coming to the cabin entrance still in a high state of agitation and the weapon in his hand. Sergeant Valkoun, realizing that this was an extremely dangerous situation, then deployed his department issued Taser with the intent to neutralize this deadly situation. The Taser deployment successfully struck the subject causing him to fall to the ground and lose control of the weapon. The officers then successfully bought him in to apprehension & the weapon was safely secured by the officers.
The subject was then taken to Kent County Hospital for medical treatment and then bought back to the Warwick Police Station where he was charged with Possession of a Firearm W/O a License and Disorderly Conduct. After his early morning arraignment by a Justice of the Peace, the subject was then taken back to Kent County Medical Facility for mental health follow up treatment.
This situation clearly could have had a very different and tragic result and it is another clear illustration of the challenges that police officers face in dealing with persons in difficulty suffering from mental health problems. All the officers mentioned here are to be commended for their bravery and their professionalism in successfully defusing a deadly situation without any serious injury.
The Warwick Police Department wishes the subjuect the very best for his future and sincerely hopes that he will get the help & mental health treatment that he very obviously needs.
Colonel Stephen M. McCartney
For any follow up information please contact Officer in Charge – Patrol Division
468-4364. Refer to WPD Arrest Report 14-2077-AR