There's a police confrontation on Bank Street Road in the city. A man who appears to be in his 20s is outside yelling at police officers. Multiple units responded to the call and officers have their weapons drawn. A family member on scene said the man is armed with a knife.
The Emergency Response Team is on scene.
The man is yelling: "Go away! Now that I'm armed with a knife, want to do your job?"
UPDATE 6:36 p.m.: The initial call was to a location on Denio Street. The incident is near Dwyer Stadium.
UPDATE: Police are treating this as a mental health incident at this time, and unless new information develops, there will be no charges against the subject of the incident, said Chief Shawn Heubusch. (As such, we're withholding pictures that show the individual involved, unless and until charges are filed (which doesn't sound likely. No name is likely to be released unless there are charges).
The incident started with the subject on the phone with dispatchers (though Heubusch was not sure if the subject called in or somebody else first called emergency dispatchers). The subject said he had a knife and was looking for police officers to harm him, Heubusch said.
Initially, responding officers had only a general idea of where the subject was -- somewhere in the woods around Dwyer Stadium and the Youth Bureau.
"We’re relying on dispatchers to relay us information and they did a good job of relaying us information about where he was and what his intents were, keeping the members updated constantly," Heubusch said.
Shortly after 6 p.m., the subject emerged from the woods on Bank Street, at the old Batavia Iron and Metal property, where a Batavia police officer was parked. Backup units from Batavia PD, the Sheriff's Office and State Police arrived on scene immediately, followed quickly by the Emergency Response Team. Within minutes, the State Police helicopter was overhead, as well.
"I can tell you, in an incident like this, you want to get as many people in as possible as quickly as you possibly can because you never know what it can evolve into or how quickly it can evolve," Heubusch said.
The chief also noted the incident was taking place in a residential neighborhood, warranting more concern for public safety.
A big reason to call out the ERT unit is the possibility the situation could become a barricaded suspect incident, Heubusch said.
"The more resources you have, the better you can contain it," Heubusch said.
The subject retreated to a corner of the building as officers converged, but kept their distance. He backed behind the corner and continued to yell at officers.
Two members of ERT and a Batavia detective with bolt cutters entered the fenced area to the south of the building, giving them access to come up from behind the suspect's position.
A few minutes later, the subject threw his knife toward Bank Street.
Officers then rushed in to take him into custody.
"He made no threats toward us," Heubusch said. "He made no threats toward anybody else in the community that I’m aware of, so the officers, obviously, wanted to make sure that he remained safe and they remained safe. They operated with great restraint and took him into custody without the use of force."
He was transported to an area hospital for a mental health evaluation. The results of the evaluation along with any further information that may develop about the case will have some bearing on whether there are charges, but Heubusch said right now, it looks like a mental health case.
He praised the discipline of the officers for resolving the incident without violence.
"It’s extremely difficult to have an officer have the composure they have to have to ensure nobody gets hurt, including themselves," Heubusch said. "It’s a split-second decision these guys are making when they’re in the field and they’re dealing with people like this. They did a good job."