Crescenta Valley Station deputies located the man’s truck near Mile Marker 33, after Sierra Madre Police officers pinpointed his location through his cellphone.
Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies responded Friday to a report of a suicidal man in possession of a firearm on Angeles Crest Highway’s Mile Marker 33 above La Cañada Flintridge. The man’s cellphone helped them pinpoint the exact location of the vehicle.
Sgt. John Gilbert said the station received a call at around 9:35 a.m. Friday from officers at the Sierra Madre Police Department requesting assistance. The officers had been contacted by the man’s family members, who said he had threatened to commit suicide and was in possession of a firearm.
They were able to reach the man, who told the Sierra Madre officers he was on Angeles Crest Highway “in the forest” and that he had fired one round from the gun.
Gilbert said officers pinged his cellphone and learned he was located near Mile Marker 33, at which point they called for assistance from the Crescenta Valley station.
“It’s common in police work, if a lead gets you to someone outside the area and there’s an immediate need for investigation, to call another agency,” the sergeant said.
Dep. Jeffrey Martin and Reserve Deputy Henrik Hairapetian were on patrol in the Angeles National Forest and responded to the scene. When they approached the man’s vehicle, described as a gray midsize truck, they noticed a figure slumped over inside the vehicle.
The man began to move, and deputies saw the barrel of a rifle and called for backup, according to a release issued by the station. Meanwhile, Sierra Madre Police officers remained on the line with the man as Martin and Hairapetian encouraged him to set down the firearm and exit his truck.
“We got concerned because this person would have a means of injuring himself and others,” Gilbert said. “There are concerns there could be a suicide by cop, or they could injure us — it’s a very delicate situation.”
When the Crescenta Valley deputies were able to access the vehicle after the man’s detainment, Gilbert said, they noticed the gun appeared to have been fired at least once.
“There was a hole in the roof of the vehicle,” he added. “And the gun had jammed in a manner that indicated [it] had gone off.”
The man, whose identity is being withheld, was treated by Los Angeles County Fire Department personnel and transported to a nearby hospital for evaluation, Gilbert confirmed. He estimated the time between the initial call and the man’s safe detainment took about 50 minutes.
Those experiencing suicidal thoughts are urged to call the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Crisis Hotline at (800) 854-7771 for assistance.