BELL GARDENS, Calif. – A potentially deadly situation ended peacefully Sunday when Bell Gardens police officers convinced a suicidal vehicle theft suspect to surrender.
Officers were notified about 8:15 a.m. of a possibly stolen vehicle in the area of Florence and Garfield avenues, according to Bell Gardens police Lt. Dano Neslen.
The officers located the vehicle behind a 76 gas station in the area and surrounded it, Neslen said.
The suspect refused repeated orders to get out of the vehicle and made several suicidal statements, the lieutenant said.
Representatives of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health were summoned to the scene and began talking with the suspect on the telephone while nearby businesses were evacuated and the area was closed to pedestrian and vehicle traffic, Neslen said.
After several hours, the suspect surrendered to officers and was taken for a mental health evaluation, he said.
The area was reopened at about 3:30 p.m.