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Petaluma Police Department
Wednesday September 4th, 2019 :: 08:00 a.m. PDT


Subject Threatens Suicide by Fire

Incident:                      Subject Threatens Suicide by Fire
Report Number:          19-3688
Occurred Date :          September 3, 2019
Occurred Time:           6:07 PM
Location:                     Petaluma Valley Hospital
Incident Summary:
On Tuesday, September 3, 2019 at approximately 6:07 pm officers were dispatched to Petaluma Valley Hospital after a subject entered the waiting room in the emergency department with a container of gasoline and threatened to light himself on fire.  The subject left the waiting room prior to officers’ arrival. Officers located the subject seated on a nearby picnic table.  The subject had a container of gasoline and a lighter next to him.    
Officers maintained their distance and engaged the subject in conversation.  While speaking with officers, the subject was agitated and poured the gasoline on himself.  The subject told the officers he intended to light himself on fire as he was tired of dealing with his mental illness.  The subject lit a cigarette and began to smoke.  After approximately ten minutes of speaking with the subject, officers were able to convince him to put out the cigarette. 
Officers seized the opportunity and took the the subject into custody as not to allow him another chance to light himself on fire.  Neither the subject or the officers were injured.  The subject was transported to the Sonoma County Crisis Stabilization Unit for treatment. 
Mental health related calls for service continue to be one the of most frequent types of calls for service the Petaluma Police Department responds to.  To better serve our community, the Petaluma Police Department has teamed with the County’s Mental Health Mobile Support Team (MST).  This program partners police officers and mental health professionals together to provide those suffering from mental illness the service they need.  Although the Mobile Support Team was not involved in this call for service due to the rapidly unfolding events, they are a tremendous resource to our agency.
If you or someone you know are contemplating suicide you are encouraged to contact the North Bay Suicide Prevention Hotline of Sonoma County at (855)587-6373. 

Petaluma Police Department
969 Petaluma Blvd N
Petaluma, CA 94952

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 707-778-4372

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