Potential Riverside barricade incident turns out to be suicide attempt

Charges pending against 24-year-old Iraq War vet

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By BOB UPHUES

A 24-year-old man described by Riverside police as a former Marine and Iraq War veteran is recovering in Hines V.A. Hospital in Maywood after an incident first believed to be a barricade situation but later determined to be a suicide attempt.

Police first received a 911 call from a man at 10:22 p.m. on April 7, saying that his friend had just cut his arm badly and needed a paramedic. Minutes later, as police arrived at the apartment building in the first block of Pine Avenue, the man said he heard a gunshot fired from his friend's apartment.

The man told police that he was in his friend's apartment with two other people that evening, and that the 24-year-old former Marine had been drinking heavily and wanted to call his wife, from whom he was recently separated.

When his friends told him that wouldn't be a good idea, the man reportedly drew a knife and slashed his forearm and then began stabbing the floor of the apartment.

Riverside police sent out an alert to the Northern Illinois Police Alarm System (NIPAS) for a possible barricade/hostage situation, while police attempted in vain to contact the injured man in his apartment.

The man's cousin arrived on the scene and was able to contact him, but the man refused to leave his apartment.

Moments later, a man who was inside the apartment at the time of the incident came out of the apartment building. He was covered in blood, but said he wasn't injured; he had been trying to help his friend staunch the profuse bleeding from his self-inflicted knife wound.

Three officers entered the building and encountered a woman, crying and also blood-soaked, on the apartment building's third-floor landing. As officers assisted her downstairs, the injured man came out of his apartment and started down the stairs before collapsing.

Officers found him on the stairs and two of them carried the man to the second-floor landing. At that time, the man revived and began fighting with the two officers, tackling one of them. The other officer reportedly used his electric stun weapon to disable the man, at which time they and paramedics were able to get him into an ambulance and transport him to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood.

Hospital personnel were able to close the wound. He was later transferred to Hines V.A. Hospital, where he still remained Monday.

Riverside Assistant Police Chief Thomas Weitzel declined to release the injured man's name, but said that charges are pending against him. He will be charged, Weitzel said, when Hines Hospital releases the man into police custody.

Weitzel added that police had been called to the man's apartment on numerous occasions in recent months for various complaints.

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