Man who threatened clinic turns himself in for mental health evaluation

Juneau police have located the man who threatened to harm people at a Juneau behavioral health unit Thursday afternoon. He was left in the care of Bartlett Regional Hospital on Friday night, a Juneau Police Department news release stated.

“It was resolved as best it could be. We’re pleased that no one ended up getting hurt in the whole situation,” JPD Lt. Kris Sell said on the phone Monday.

Around 3:45 p.m. Thursday, a 55-year-old Juneau man walked into the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) seeking treatment, as previously reported in the Empire. After he was told his provider was with another patient, he became angry and said he would return with weapons, according to a statement released by a SEARHC spokeswoman.

Public relations specialist Stacy Smith wrote that the man yelled profanities for several minutes and mentioned bombs he had available at his home. Police said the man has issued similar threats in the past, but had not acted upon them.

JPD worked with SEARHC staff, who knew the man, and had gotten a court order compelling the man to participate in a mental health evaluation. But when police contacted the man on Friday by phone, he was very cooperative, Sell said.

“He said he was frustrated, but did not mean those threats and he met with the officer at the hospital and turned himself over for mental health evaluation,” Sell said.

“He said he understood the error in his ways and was willing to take responsibility,” she added.

Sell noted that the police officer who contacted the man Friday had received specialized training in crisis intervention.

The original threat led SEARHC to close the behavioral health clinic early on Thursday. It opened Friday, but the exterior doors at the behavioral health building were locked. As of Monday, Smith said operations at the clinic were back to normal.

• Contact reporter Lisa Phu at 523-2246 or lisa.phu@juneauempire.com.

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