Wareham Police safely subdue man threatening to shoot; save choking victim

WAREHAMFrom Wareham Police: On Monday October 22, at about 7:40 p.m. Wareham Police received a call about a suicidal male armed with a rifle in one of the parking lots of Tobey Hospital. Police officers under the direction of Sgt. Peter Flannery converged in the area of the hospital as it was not known what parking lot the vehicle was in. A short while later it was determined that the male was sitting in a vehicle in the lot across from the hospital on High Street. Officers Ryan Turner, Michael Phinney, and Joseph Cardoza moved to secure the area and the hospital was advised to go in lockdown. When officers were able to make contact with male, he shouted obscenities, and said he would not be taken alive. Furthermore, he said he was armed with a rifle and was going to force police to shoot him. It was clear this was unfolding as a “suicide by cop” situation. Sgt. Flannery ordered that the Southeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council SWAT unit be brought to the scene. In addition, other Wareham police officers responded, including Acting Chief John Walcek, Lt. Walter Correia, and Detective Dean Decas who left Town Meeting. Det. Sgt. Michael Smith, Officers Christopher Corner, and Justin Silveira also reported in from home to assist with the incident.

Both High Street and Church Avenue were blocked off and Officer Cardoza was able to make contact by phone with the subject. The male was extremely agitated, and was not cooperating despite the fact that Officer Cardoza was trying to calm him. After several minutes, the male stepped from his vehicle and it was unclear if he had a firearm. When Officer Cardoza, Acting Chief Walcek, and Sgt. Flannery moved in closer, the male quickly reached behind his back as if to be pulling a weapon, yelling that he was going to shoot. At this point it appeared deadly force was an option, however officers continued to order the male to show his hands. When it was confirmed he had no weapon, officers moved in to subdue the subject. An “air rifle” was found on the front floor of the vehicle. The male was brought to the emergency room for evaluation under police guard. There were no injuries during the tense stand-off and the incident was secured by 8:25 p.m.

Later at about 1:40 a.m. Wareham EMS and police were dispatched to a residence regarding a person choking. Acting Sergeant Kevin Reilly arrived within two minutes and found a person choking, unable to breath. He utilized the “Heimlich maneuver” and the item was dislodged. Wareham EMS transported the person to Tobey hospital for further treatment.

Acting Chief John Walcek, said, “This incident with a distraught and volatile individual was successfully concluded with a peaceful resolution due to the bravery and restraint of the responding officers.” He added, “I am very proud of the actions of all officers on the scene who put themselves in harm’s way to end this peacefully.” In addition Walcek said, “Because of the quick actions of Acting Sergeant Reilly, a person was saved from choking and will be ok. These are perfect examples of police officers making a difference in Wareham, and I am honored to serve with such professionals.”

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Hyannis, MA 02601
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