Lyndhurst: Police catch suicidal South Euclid man

5:58 PM, Feb 25, 2013   |    comments
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LYNDHURST -- About 9:30 p.m. Friday, police received a 9-1-1 call from a man who stated he had just hurt his girlfriend and that he had a gun.

The man said he was walking on one of the streets behind Brush High School so patrol officers responded to the area.

One officer located a man at Clearview at Farnhurst roads. The officer attempted to detain him when the man suddenly pulled out an object and aimed it at the officer.

The officer discharged his weapon at the man once, but did not strike him. The man then ran off and was pursued northbound where he was caught by the officer near Clearview and Westbourne roads.

Additional officers arrived and the man was taken into custody. A cell phone was located on the ground near him and the man was apologetic, and told officers that he wanted to die, and admitted that he held the cell phone like a gun hoping to force a police officer to shoot and kill him.

The man had cuts on his wrists and blood on his pants from what he said was a suicide attempt earlier. He also stated he had been looking for a place to crash his car.

The officer who discharged his weapon, Ptlm. Greg Traci, is a veteran officer of the Lyndhurst Police Department and  was not injured and has been placed on administrative leave per department policy.

The man, 19, of South Euclid, was taken to Hillcrest Hospital His girlfriend was located and is unharmed.

Lyndhurst Police Detectives, assisted by officers from Gates Mills, Mayfield Village and Mayfield Heights, examined the scene and recovered evidence.

The single bullet fired was found in a railroad tie at ground level near a house.

An investigation is continuing.

Mayor Joseph Cicero said, "The situation was over in minutes and we're thankful that nobody was hurt. This is an example of the challenges faced by police in dealing with someone with a mental health crisis. Officer Traci did a fine job apprehending this subject, who was believed to be armed, when he attempted to flee further into a residential area. This is the first time in over 30 years that a Lyndhurst police officer had to fire his gun at someone in the line of duty."


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