Negotiator talks suicidal man into surrendering at police department

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A suicidal man threatened a woman with a knife at the Rexburg Police Office on Wednesday afternoon before a hostage negotiator successfully defused the situation.

Rexburg Assistant Police Chief Gary Hagen reported that a young Caucasian male walked into the office around 3:45 p.m. There he approached the woman standing at the front counter of the office, grabbed her and threatened her with a knife.

“He walked into the front doors of the police department. He pulled a knife out and put it to the girl’s throat,” he said. “He requested police officers to shoot him and to kill him.”

The hostage negotiator, who was in the office at the time, managed to get the man to put the knife down and placed the suspect into custody.

No one was injured, but the victim was visibly upset, Hagan said.

“She’s obviously shaken up. We’re still speaking with her,” he said.

It was the first time that a hostage situation has happened at the police station, Hagan said.

“You don’t ever plan on having anybody come into the police department and do such a thing,” he said.

Hagan complimented his workers for doing what they were supposed to do by notifying Madison County Dispatch and Rexburg Police officers.

“We’re very thankful to the front office staff, officers who arrived on scene as well as the negotiator to do what they were trained to do and to bring the situation to a safe ending,” he said.

Madison and Fremont County sheriff’s deputies and FBI agents who happened to be attending a meeting at the police department at the time, assisted the Rexburg Police Department.

Hagan declined to give details on the suspect’s name or age, but said that more information would soon be forthcoming.