Law enforcement subdued a suicidal woman on the 101 near Arcata yesterday

Suicidal woman subdued by law enforcement. [Photo provided by a reader]

Law enforcement used a beanbag and taser to subdue a woman who allegedly stabbed herself and urged law enforcement to shoot her yesterday afternoon on the 101 freeway in Arcata.

According to Arcata Police Sgt. Heidi Groszmann, her department received a call at 12:02 p.m. reporting a woman cutting herself near Health Sport, east of the 7th Street Freeway. “She was threatening to kill herself,” Groszmann told us. “We tried to contact her. She took out the knife and didn’t want to talk.

Groszmann said two officers walked behind her for about a mile in an attempt to engage her. “She wanted nothing to do with us and told us that if we got any closer she would kill herself,” the sergeant explained.

Law enforcement is blocking traffic

Law enforcement halted traffic during yesterday’s incident. [Photo provided by a reader]

Eventually, the woman walked on Highway 101 at the Samoa Blvd on-ramp heading north. “We had the traffic stop on the freeway,” Groszmann told us. “She was trying to run on the pavement… She put the knife to her neck several times as she walked.

Other officers had arrived on the scene at the time, but around 2:25 p.m., according to the scanner, the woman was refusing to obey orders. “You have to shoot me or I’m going to stab myself,” Groszmann said, the woman told officers. “All de-escalation techniques were used.”

The sergeant said officers were afraid the woman would kill herself. Groszmann, who was at the incident, told us that at first she thought the woman had stabbed herself. Although this turned out to be incorrect, the sergeant said: “We deployed a bean bag and a taser… They were effective… She was detained without further incident.

The woman was taken to hospital by officers. Further information cannot be provided due to HIPAA law which protects an individual’s privacy rights to their health information.

“Cal Poly Humboldt Police assisted us and the CHP and they were instrumental in helping us resolve the situation safely,” Groszmann said. “I’m just glad everything helped.”

Groszmann added: “We’ve had a lot of mental health calls. The pandemic has really pushed people to the brink.

Then she asked that everyone “be aware of the early signs of people in crisis…basically cut this down to the collar so we don’t get to a situation like this…Just be aware so people don’t get to that point.”

In an effort to educate the public about suicide prevention, the following infographic from the National Institute of Mental Health provides guidance on the warning signs associated with suicide:

In an effort to educate the public about suicide prevention, the following infographic from the National Institute of Mental Health provides guidance on the warning signs associated with suicide:

If someone else is exhibiting concerning behavior, the National Suicide Hotline offers these suggestions: suicide what to do

Remember that if you or a loved one is suffering from mental distress, there are many resources available, including:

  • The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): 1-800-950-6264, [email protected]
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): (800) 662-4357
  • National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): (866) 615-6464
  • Mental Health America Helpline: Text 741741
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
  • Crisis text line: Text CONNECT to 741741

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