October 16, 2020
Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D.—Law enforcement officers periodically go through crisis intervention training, and it might have saved a life in Watertown Thursday when a man was threatening to kill himself.

Watertown police and Codington County deputies responded to an address in northwest Watertown around 4:00 p.m.

Assistant Police Chief Tim Toomey says responding units were notified that a man in his 20’s was threatening, “suicide by cop.”

He was located outside the residence, where he was holding a large butcher knife to his throat and stomach.

The man was in a mental health crisis and was agitated. At one point, he walked aggressively toward the officers.

Police officers and Deputy Sergeant Brent Solum relied on their training in de-escalation tactics, and began communicating with the man.

A rapport was eventually established, at which point the man threw the knife down.

He was taken into protective custody and was transported to the Codington County Detention Center to be evaluated by a mental health professional.

His name was not released.