Officer disarms man during welfare check - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Officer disarms man during welfare check

Male who appeared intoxicated grabbed pistol, but not charged

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Posted: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 12:00 am

SPIRIT LAKE - A man whom police say was intoxicated and appeared to be living in his car was disarmed by an officer without incident Friday after the male grabbed a loaded pistol.

The man, believed to be in his early 60s, was not charged or arrested by Spirit Lake Police Officer Dennis Sanchez because the man's intent with the gun was not clear, Police Chief Keith Hutcheson said.

"I thought the officer handled it very tactfully," Hutcheson said.

Officers responded to the car on Madison around 8 a.m. after family members from Shoshone County requested a welfare check on the man. Upon arrival, officers found the man inside a car with a tarp over it, Hutcheson said.

"As they spoke with him through the car window, they could tell that he was highly intoxicated," said Hutcheson, adding that officers could smell alcohol and the man visibly appeared to be drunk.

The man told Sanchez and Officer Dave Koontz that he had a gun in the car, and when the man grabbed the .25-caliber pistol, Sanchez immediately took it from him.

"The man never pointed the gun at the officer," said Hutcheson, adding that the pistol was loaded but there was not a bullet in the chamber. "The officer at that point didn't know if the man was simply getting the gun to show him or if there was an immediate threat."

Hutcheson said the man calmed down and officers offered ways the man could seek assistance. Police did not seize the pistol.

"The guy needed to get help," Hutcheson said.

Hutcheson said that, while officer-involved shootings have sparked a hot local debate recently, he believes police officers generally handle incidents with professionalism, as was the case this time.

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  • Triumph posted at 10:09 pm on Wed, Jul 23, 2014.

    Triumph Posts: 673


  • 1955 posted at 7:14 pm on Tue, Jul 22, 2014.

    1955 Posts: 23

    Please let each incident stand or fall alone, be specific in your support or criticism regarding the facts, not conjecture, concerning each specific incident, and respectfully, not grudgingly, withhold the broad brush that unfortunately diminishes your insights. Debate, not debase.

  • Rogue Cop posted at 4:54 pm on Tue, Jul 22, 2014.

    Rogue Cop Posts: 2371

    What's pathetic is your inability to discern that different circumstances can have different outcomes . Critical thinking adults learn not to group all incidents in the same box. You apparently haven't learned that because, no matter what the circumstances are, you'll criticize. "Saving baby ducks", "This officer will likely get reprimanded..." Those kind of snarky statements just prove that, even when an incident results with no injuries, you'll find something to criticize. That's the difference between a mature and measured view of the world vs. your snotty-nosed elitist sheltered perspective.

  • DCIDAHO posted at 3:22 pm on Tue, Jul 22, 2014.

    DCIDAHO Posts: 2988

    The first Americans stood up to authoritarian aggression. Blind submission to authority breeds cattle. Local LE is proving to be out of control. The best thing that could happen is the public's total loss of respect for LTE. Only from that, can improvements be made. It's happening.

  • Intrepid posted at 1:12 pm on Tue, Jul 22, 2014.

    Intrepid Posts: 1057

    How pathetic that 2 police whitewashers see these comments as critical. Proof positive that any input besides "great job" is unwelcome.

  • Rogue Cop posted at 1:00 pm on Tue, Jul 22, 2014.

    Rogue Cop Posts: 2371

    Well said Schmidtty. They just prove the point that I've made for years...that no matter what the cops do, some keyboard warrior will criticize them.

  • milburnschmidt posted at 8:34 am on Tue, Jul 22, 2014.

    milburnschmidt Posts: 1160

    Incidents like this happen routinely. No matter what the police do dim bulbs like those below will have a negative comment from their undisclosed bunkers where they throw darts as the world passes them by.

  • DCIDAHO posted at 6:54 am on Tue, Jul 22, 2014.

    DCIDAHO Posts: 2988

    Take note CDA police...You don't always have to kill the guy

  • Intrepid posted at 6:49 am on Tue, Jul 22, 2014.

    Intrepid Posts: 1057

    Can hardly wait for the upcoming 'feel good' story about the policeman saving baby ducks. It is nice to know that a local policeman can interact with a tense situation and not let it blow up. This officer will likely get reprimanded for allowing this guy to put his hands on that loaded weapon.

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