People Taunt Man Arrested at Home Depot Wednesday
Yakima Police arrested a man with a machete in the parking lot of the Home Depot in Yakima Wednesday night. Police were called to the store, on South First Street at about 7:00 p.m. because a man was threatening people with a machete while standing in the store parking lot. Police spent several hours talking to the man before he was taken into custody without anyone being injured.
Those are the facts of what happened but something else happened that you may not see in a press release about the incident. Capt. Jay Seely of the Yakima Police Department calls it "super unfortunate" but he says as police were talking to the man bystanders gathered around the parking lot were "taunting" the man to do or say something that would cause police to shoot him. Seely says when officers slow situations down to preserve life the public needs to understand why and not start taunting police. He says people were saying things behind officers to the man with the machete. He says the man was suffering from substance abuse and was obviously in crisis. Seely adds as officers would turn their backs to the crowd so they could face the man fire officials saw people trying to vandalize the police cars. No police cars however were damaged.
The man was arrested and is sitting in the Yakima County jail facing charges. No bystanders were injured or arrested.
Seely says when officers get into situations like they did on Wednesday night the goal is to slow down the situation and not make the wanted person feel threatened. Seely says that's what the officers did Wednesday but he says the situation was complicated by people saying things to the man with the machete.