Police end barricade incident in Silver Lake

LAPD Command Center at Marathon & Maltman

A two-block section of Maltman Avenue in Silver Lake was sealed off for nearly four hours late this afternoon after police tried to coax an emotionally distressed man, who was believed to have been armed, out of his apartment.  The incident on Maltman Avenue  between Bellevue Avenue and Marathon Street ended at about 9 p.m. after a SWAT team robot entered the man’s apartment and saw him lying unconscious on a couch, said  Capt. Gina Sanders with the Rampart Division.  The man, described as in his late 40s or early 50s, was transported to a hospital. No weapons were found in the apartment, Sanders said.

The incident, which left a police helicopter hovering overhead for hours as heavily armed SWAT officers roamed the streets, began after police received a call that a distressed man may have taken many pills and possibly had a weapon, Sanders said.

It’s only been about two weeks since Silver Lake residents near the same area went through a similar situation after a man in the 800 block of Kodak Street barricaded himself following a domestic dispute. That incident ended without police having to use force.

* This post has been updated.

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  1. Yes. We have been listening to the noise pollution created by a helicopter since 5:30. There is no respect for local citizens. Yes. The police have been standing in front our homes and completely ignore us when we are trying to communicate. Yes. There are police snipers located around the corner. If this is another “unarmed man incident,” like last week, you’re wasting our tax paying dollars.

  2. The helicopters overhead are driving me nuts! It’s been three hours already. How much longer will this go on? Why is our neighborhood such a hotbed of activity all of a sudden? It has been, for the most part, a peaceful neighborhood. This helicopter activity reminds me of living near USC. Not at all what I expect for my neighborhood. Someone shoot the helicopter down!

  3. This is ridiculous. The helicopter is obviously doing no good whatsoever. Two weeks ago it was for an unarmed man in his OWN house. If this is a suicide situation, well let me tell you, they’re going to have a lot more suicide threats on their hands if this chopper noise keeps up. Studies have shown that the hum of a fridge can cause psychological problems. What about a helicopter flying ten feet above MY HOUSE every night for anywhere between ten minutes and four hours? If there were real threats to our neighborhood, and community communication between officers and us, I would be understanding. The officers here have no respect for those they are supposed to serve and protect. They haven’t said “it’s safe,” or “it’s not safe.” They just storm around like we’re in a war zone. Such behavior propagates violence. We are being treated like dogs in a kennel in the SPCA. There are babies that need sleep, mothers, nurses, students, children, people who have to wake up for work at 3 a.m. It’s a good thing I’m a pacifist or I would shoot down the choppers myself, despite being a demure white girl with an MFA.

  4. And let me just say. If a woman were in charge of operations, this would not be happening. Suicide threats need shrinks, not MORE GUNS and loud noises. Violence breeds violence. It’s only a slum when the local enforcement treat it like its a slum. These choppers are just boys playing with their big-boy toys, burning fuel to fund the war and make themselves feel like real men, completely thoughtless toward the needs of local families to sleep. Or think. Everyone in the neighborhood should unite and march the streets until they send the chopper home. I’m sure the job can be done just fine by the competent-looking people walking and driving ON THE SURFACE OF THE EARTH. This isn’t Iraq. This isn’t war. If you want it to be, then LEAVE OUR NEIGHBORHOOD. And what if this chopper had an accident and fell on the neighborhood? It’s happened before.

  5. As a helicopter pilot, I take umbrage at the idea that my services somehow unnecessary. I understand that you need your sleep, but the bad guys need to get got. Also, be lucky that I never have to use missiles or machine guns. That’s what I call noise pollution!

  6. Is this blog only read by ignorant libertarians? I too live very nearby all of the activity that has taken place this evening, annoying yes. But which you rather, some complete lawless state, corrupted by drug barons and the like? Get real people, the ghetto bird is gone and you can all resume your sad lives. For someone to actually wish for the lapd choppoer to be shot out of the sky, you should really check yourself or move to some mexican bordertown where the bird dont fly baby……have a nice evening morons

  7. for your brief interlude of sanity. how do you deal with these folks on a daily basis? are your neighbors as dumb as they seem?

  8. Mfa’s need not apply– wake the f up — you live in silverlake, not west Hollywood or Beverly hills. Real shit happens here still. Didn’t you realize that’s the allure of living here…..studies have also shown that ignorance is bliss. Just because you can easily access ‘coffee culture’ doesn’t erase what this neighborhood was and at times still is. Love it or leave it. Maybe you’d like marina del ray more?

  9. I find that a lot of Silver Lakers just like to complain. About anything and everything. Whatever position or action taken, whatever idea proposed, whatever anything anythinged, a lot of Silver Lakers will just take the opposite position and gripe about it. For some, it’s what they consider being engaged in the community.

  10. Indeed. Police officers are there because of a situation, even if it turns out to be harmless. A helicopter has to stay until the all-clear is given. They don’t have the luxury to keep a “PR presence” just to explain things to the local curious.

    I am grateful to live in a neighborhood where there IS a response.

  11. People are so quick to hurl insults lately. Copters must be making everyone a little crazy.
    Hopefully we can all agree that all this wasnt necessary for an unarmed “emotionally distressed” man sleeping on his couch. What a total waste of resources and time.
    I get the sads once in awhile too, but swat? for real?
    THere have been shooting, muggings, assaults and break-ins in our neighborhood that are getting way less attention and resources.

  12. what a waste of time and money. distressed man –send in swat and chopper..great way to reduce stress.

  13. Blame ur neighbors for calling 911 and saying they have a Gun and want to kill themselves for the noise in your neighborhood. You live in los angeles dont like it move out.

  14. just got home when this all began. just to be a dick i didnt stop but instead drove up Lucile and then up Marathon and into the thick of it. They were cop cars everywhere on every corner as though it was a street search. One copper walking with a green shotty presumebly a rubber bullet non leathal weapon.
    In my opinion it was overkill from the get go. We cant afford this sort of ‘precautionary lattitude’. Keep it real and within reason and budget. I agree with the ‘boys and their toys’ comments earlier. I grew up with a shrink on 24 suicide hotline and he never had to call SWAT.
    Personally I think that alot of cops are scared to get out of their cars and confront anything potentially harmful unless in full armed posse. Bullys not Braves they operate more like an angry dog pack than trained armed professionals. Blast first and let the p.r. people do the clean up.
    Stop pulling over innocent people for bullshit tickets and impounds and pull over some of the obvious thugs and morons who present a threat or danger. Fuckers who might be armed. Then you may have my respect.

  15. How I WISH there was a way for our officers to quickly and accurately ascertain the threat level of a situation, if for no other reason than quicker resolutions would silence those who come here to condemn the prolonged and multi-faceted nature of the LAPD response — and from their armchairs either incredibly call for the helicopter to be shot down or deem what’s tactically necessary and what isn’t.

    But since that wish can’t be granted, instead I’m just going to be ashamed of some of my neighbors and glad it was resolved without injury or incident.

  16. “if you dont like it move out” and being ashamed of your neighbors are lousy, foolish responses. The progress of improving a community should be the concern of all the citizens and all should be allowed to communicate with out fear of their community patriotism being questioned. (sounds like an old battle, love it or leave it idiocy) While we live in a city ridden with debt and economic troubles a illegitimate NationalGuard style response was completely overkill and indeed a foolish one for a suicide watch call. Among ways in this response was a failure it also just bad business. That being said, had this been the LAPD’s efforts to catch the men who shot a citizen in the face just down the street hours earlier, it would have been perfectly suitable to have that kind of response. Alas it wasnt, and the tactics used for handling a stressed person ought to be reviewed. The fear involved with that kind of police response would surly put any suicide watch over the edge. After 4 hours of neighborhood siege…bomb robot finds man asleep on couch..dont think about it, dont question it..love it or leave it…yea thats the answer.

  17. I completely agree that the incident and tactics employed should be reviewed and open for community discussion. But it’s interesting that skip,while an ardent proponent of people voicing opposition to last night’s police action, seems to have little appreciation for those of us who express shame and anger over those most extreme who would call for the helicopter to be shot down.

    Being willing to accept the law enforcement response on Maltman if applied to the shooting on Silver Lake Boulevard is strictly a hypothetical, yet telling in its audacity to expect the police to be both omnipresent and omniscient in answering any and every confrontation. Had the shooting suspect barricaded himself in a nearby residence instead of making a getaway and a similar law enforcement response been delivered, the same calls to shoot down the helicopter down would’ve been heard and the same “don’t like it, move!” rebuttals would be made.

  18. Maybe people should ask themselves what they would have rather seen: an over-kill response for something that turned out to be nothing, or a response no where near sufficient for something that turns out to be serious. I am a huge proponent of neighborhood activism (and the ghetto birds get on my nerves, too). But some people just like to complain. If we were looking at a lacking response to a serious event we would have people saying “see…look at those lazy cops”.

  19. If that person calls for help and threatens to kill himself police are going to handle it with precaution do to all the suicide by cops and people taking their lives due to their mental state of mind. If the firemen and cops will ignore this call and this person committed suicide, some citizens will be complaining how the firemen or police didn’t do anything to prevent this persons actions. Sadly people have mental illnesses or are in a finical crisis and are taking their families and their own life’s.

  20. Alexia — The tone and content of your two posts are immature and laden with sexist statements; for someone with an MFA, you should know how to edit your writing — or let yourself cool down a bit before you make your missives public. Incidentally, if you were male, the authorities just might take your tongue-in-cheek threat to “shoot down the choppers (your)self” seriously and pay you a visit.

  21. Precautions need to be taken. If it turned out to be a dangerous situation and LAPD didn’t dispatch a helicopter and SWAT team, you people would then complain about not enough being done. Let these people do their jobs and be quiet. Be thankful that these people put their lives on the line for our safety.

  22. In this case, there was a significant response. The initial caller told our Communications Division and, later, officers that the subject inside, a 50-year-old male, was despondent over a personal issue and was threatening to shoot himself. The caller was deemed credible, thus launching certain protocols. A later caller, different than the initial, told officers he received a telephone call from the subject claiming to be in possession of a high-powered rifle, threatening suicide.

    These are the types of criteria which dictate our response. Any firearms-related barricade is hazardous, not just for the officers, but for neighbors and the barricaded person themselves. Had we reliable information he had overdosed, and made no mention of guns, it is likely patrol officers would have entered and dealt with it.

    Since he was inside by himself, time was on the officers’ side, thus negotiations were initiated. After several hours, the door was forced open and the robot sent in. The subject was discovered to be unconscious, and transported by paramedics for treatment.

    Requests for SWAT are not taken lightly, and several thresholds must be reached for them to respond. At the scene, decisions are made cooperatively between the SWAT officer-in-charge, usually a lieutenant, and the area’s ranking officer, most often a Deputy Chief. There is extensive oversight of the operation, as well as constant assessment of the need for its continuance, and how to resolve it. In cases of possible mental health issues, a Department psychologist also responds.

    As for the scope of the operation, I fully understand people thinking it was excessive, based on the end result. However, if he had a rifle and run from the house, or began shooting from windows, and our response was feeble, we would surely and rightfully be excoriated. Despite the helicopter noise and traffic inconvenience, the subject is alive and will receive help, and no one was injured.

    (213) 484-3400

  23. Thank you so much for that Lt. Wes! I appreciate both the effort you guys put in to make sure everyone was safe and to follow up on this thread. Thanks again. 🙂


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