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Medford police subdue woman during apparent suicide attempt

Medford police used a Taser and a nonlethal firearm Thursday to disable a woman in the midst of a mental-health crisis who was threatening to hurt herself with a knife.

The 33-year-old woman, who held a knife to her throat near the Medford Center Thursday, is in the custody of Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center’s mental health ward, according to Medford police. Medford police did not name the woman because she was not charged with a crime.

A 911 call came in at 9:07 a.m. Thursday of an armed and suicidal woman behind the Safeway, according to Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau.

As police approached, the woman reportedly started running, but an officer in a patrol vehicle was able to block her from running into the street. Police then cornered the woman near the grocery store.

During a standoff lasting about 40 minutes, the woman reportedly showed “significant swings in behavior,” according to Budreau.

One officer on the scene shocked the woman with a Taser, while another fired a 40-millimeter foam baton round at her.

Budreau said police opted to use the different weapons simultaneously because the woman’s thick clothing risked interfering with the stun gun. The Taser ended up getting the woman to drop the steak knife, he said.

Jackson County Mental Health and Mercy Flights paramedics were at the scene at the time the weapons were deployed. Budreau said all of the officers on scene had gone through the county’s crisis intervention training, and one officer was trained as a crisis negotiator.

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.

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