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Grand Rapids 'mental crisis' standoff ends peacefully

GRPD Cruiser 02202021
Posted at 1:23 PM, Feb 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-20 15:52:00-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids police are still on the scene investigating a "critical incident" on Kalamazoo Avenue SE on Saturday afternoon.

The incident first was reported just before noon as "an altercation" in the 4300 block of Kalamazoo Avenue SE. Customers at a business there had gotten involved in an argument and the report said that weapons were involved.

GRPD officers responded to the scene and learned that one of the people involved in the argument had gone into a nearby cell-phone store. Police said the man was "frantic and upset" so the store's employees and customers left the business. The man then locked the doors and started damaging the store, including throwing paint on windows and trying to start a fire.

Other area businesses were evacuated and police asked people to avoid the area, as GRPD said the man experienced a "mental crisis."

Grand Rapids Police told FOX 17 that the incident was "an evolving situation."

Officers trained in crisis intervention opened a dialogue with the man over a cell phone and through the business' door. The man then became de-agitated, exited the store and surrendered peacefully.

"We appreciate the community's patience and cooperation while our personnel addressed a potentially violent situation," said GRPD Sgt. Dan Adams. "Officers were able to manage the incident using their training and skills to ensure community members remained safe while providing the subject the care he needed."

The Grand Rapids Fire Department examined the business for fire damage and ruled that it was safe.

Shortly after 2 p.m. GRPD announced that the incident had been resolved and that traffic had resumed in the area.