Police Armed With Sandwich Talk Man Off Ledge

By Gillian Mohney

Dec 29, 2013 2:51pm
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Police use turkey sandwich to talk man down from ledge. (Getty Images)

Portland, Ore., police found an unlikely way to diffuse a tense situation — order a sandwich.

Officers were able to talk an “agitated” man down from a ledge after they ordered him a turkey and bacon sandwich.

Police responded to reports of a naked man, possibly armed with a knife, sitting on the ledge of a parking structure on Saturday, Portland Police Department spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson said. The man appeared to be suffering from a “behavioral health crisis” and was acting as though he was going to jump, the spokesman said.

“He was sitting the ledge when the [officers] came up cutting himself  with a knife,” said Sgt. Greg Stewart of the Portland Police Bureau Crime Analysis Unit.

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Sergeant Drake Hull responded to the call and said the man was occasionally tripping and barely coherent as he walked on a 24-inch ledge.

When officers from the Enhanced Crisis Intervention team started to talk to the man, they found out he was hungry, so Hull ordered an officer to get a sandwich with French fries from a nearby luxury hotel. The officer came back with a turkey and bacon sandwich, which they put down in the parking structure to bring the man in off the ledge.

“I think at one point he said he wanted a cheeseburger, but beggars can’t be choosers,” said Hull, who said officers were worried about low temperatures leading to hypothermia.

When the man was safely off the ledge, officers rushed up behind him and took him into custody without incident.

The man was taken to a hospital for evaluation and may face vandalism charges for severely damaging a car in the parking lot, police said.

The police let the man finish his sandwich on the way to the hospital.

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