UPDATE: Police apprehend armed man on Knowles Avenue
At first it seemed that intervention by local cops may have prevented a man from taking his own life with a knife last week in the heart of downtown New Richmond.
Upon closer examination, it appeared that the man pulled the knife on himself in an attempt to get police to leave him alone.
The New Richmond Police Department issued a press release Friday afternoon about an incident that morning on South Knowles Avenue in which a 33-year-old man armed with a knife was apprehended at gunpoint by a team of local police officers.
“I think the way the officers performed prevented a deadly force situation,” said New Richmond Police Chief Mark Samelstad. “They handled it correctly. They were able to talk the guy down thus preventing anybody getting hurt. I think they did an excellent job the way they handled the situation.”
The man, identified in St. Croix County Court records as Brian Francis Anderson, has been charged with criminal damage to property, disorderly conduct-use of a dangerous weapon and misdemeanor bail jumping.
According to the release, the incident began when the subject was “allegedly out of control” in the 100 block of West Third Street in front of the Lowrey Hotel. Officers responded to the area and found the subject at the intersection of South Knowles Avenue and East Second Street.
According to the criminal complaint, Anderson also caused damage to parked vehicles in the area.
Officers attempted to contain the man at the intersection, but he continued walking east on East Second Street when officers saw he was holding a knife to his throat.
Officers attempted to contain the man in the Civic Center parking lot, but he continued walking away with the knife in his hand, according to the release. St. Croix County dispatchers quickly notified local businesses in the immediate area of the incident.
Officers continued to follow the man to the corner of South Knowles Avenue and East First Street near the Old Gem Theater where they began a conversation with him and convinced him to throw the knife to the ground.
While in custody, Anderson indicated that he was not suicidal and didn’t intend to hurt anyone with the knife. According to the criminal complaint, Anderson told the officer he just wanted to get away and not go to jail.
After a 10-minute conversation with a mobile crisis worker, Anderson was cleared to be taken to jail.
Anderson appeared in St. Croix County Circuit Court on Monday, Aug. 25, and a cash bond of $1,000 was set. He is next scheduled to appear for a pre-trial conference on Sept. 3.
A shirtless man armed with a knife was taken into custody at gunpoint on South Knowles Avenue Friday morning by multiple New Richmond Police Department officers.
Initial reports from dispatch indicated the man was threatening suicide with a knife to his throat in the 100 block of South Knowles Avenue.
Multiple officers responded to the scene with TASERs, pistols and rifles aimed at the man. Traffic on Knowles Avenue was blocked for a short time while the man was taken into custody.
New Richmond Police Chief Mark Samelstad confirmed that one man was taken into custody and that a weapon was involved, but declined further comment until he could review officers' reports.
This post will be updated as more information becomes available.