Police officers rescued an infant from a man holding a knife in Houston, Texas, recently in what officials described as a tense scene.
“HPD was called to the 7200 block of Woodridge near Evergreen for an assault in progress just after midnight. The caller stated a man was assaulting his wife,” ABC 13 reported Friday.
When officers got to the scene, they noted the man was in “full mental crisis” while holding the baby and a knife in a parking lot.
“Officers immediately surrounded the suspect but gave him enough space so he doesn’t feel threatened and started talking to him,” Lt. E. Pavel told reporters. “He was out of control, screaming back at officers, but officers kept calm. They kept talking to him for about 30 minutes.”
Pavel explained the man began calming down and sat down so officers were able to talk him into surrendering the knife and hand the baby over to officials.
“Eventually, he did throw the knife away and officers went and got the kid,” Pavel continued. “Everybody was safe.”
According to police, the man was taken into custody and transported to a local hospital for an evaluation, adding the baby was not hurt during the incident.
“As with criminal activity, a small percentage of individuals with mental illness account for the majority of police calls-for-service,” the Houston Police Department’s (HPD) Mental Health Division website read:
These are the individuals who continually go into serious mental health crises requiring repeated police intervention. Rather than continuing this reactionary cycle, the Chronic Consumer Stabilization Initiative (CCSI) takes a community policing, pro-active, collaborative approach to help keep these consumers from going into crisis, thus reducing police intervention.
Meanwhile in July, ABC 13 reported Houston faced what city leaders admitted was the “worst crime spike in years.”
“We tracked every reported crime in the city of Houston starting in 2019. Examining crime by zip code, the data showed many areas where total crime is up 30% or more year-to-date compared to records from 2019 (before the pandemic),” the outlet said.
City statistics also reportedly showed response times for officers were also much slower.
“All of this comes at a time where there are 97 fewer officers on Houston’s streets than this time last year,” the article read.