Knife-wielding man subdued by 'beanbag' gun

November 01, 1997|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

City police officers were able to safely subdue a knife-wielding man who threatened to kill himself Thursday by shooting him with a "beanbag" gun -- the second time the device has been used since being acquired several months ago.

Southeastern District officers responded to a call from a house in the 700 block of S. Linwood Ave. about 7 p.m. and confronted a 46-year-old man who had a large knife.

"He refused repeated demands to drop the knife and told officers to shoot him," said Maj. Timothy Longo. Longo said the man turned the knife and pointed it at his own stomach.

Officers Drew Dorbert and Che Jackson called for the tactical unit, and Officer William Welsh shot the man in the chest with the bean bag filled with lead pellets -- which is fired from a 12-gauge shotgun -- that unfolds and stuns on impact.

Longo said the man dropped the knife and was taken into custody. He was admitted to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center for a psychiatric evaluation. He was not charged.

The issue of less-lethal force was highlighted after a controversial shooting Aug. 9 outside Lexington Market in West Baltimore. As a bystander videotaped the confrontation, an officer fatally shot James Quarles, 22, after Quarles refused to obey demands to drop a knife.

Pub Date: 11/01/97

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