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Individual taken into custody after threatening Albemarle police with machete during mental health crisis

Albemarle County police say an individual has been taken into custody after threatening officers with a machete while they were responding to a reported trespassing.

The county police department said that members of Albemarle’s Human Services Alternative Response Team, or HART, were dispatched around 11 a.m. Tuesday to a wooded area off Belvedere Boulevard near the Fairview Swim & Tennis Club and Belvedere development.

HART is a county program designed to deescalate mental health crises, keeping struggling individual out of jail or emergency rooms and instead connecting them to community resources. The three-person teams consist of a social worker, law enforcement officer and emergency medical technician.

"Upon arrival, HART located an individual in distress," the Albemarle Police Department said in a statement. "Team members attempted to speak with the individual who showed a need for mental health services. An emergency custody order (ECO) was obtained based on the behavior HART observed."

Additional units from the Albemarle Police Department and the county’s fire rescue team eventually arrived on the scene to assist taking the individual in to be evaluated for mental health services.

In its initial statement Tuesday, the police department said that the individual was taken into custody around 4:30 p.m.

A second statement issued later in the evening provided additional details regarding that process, including the individual’s violent response to officers on the scene.

"The individual in distress that was taken into custody on an emergency custody order had outstanding warrants in Albemarle County and brandished a machete at responding officers. Officers utilized less lethal force when taking the individual into custody," the police department said. "No officers were injured, and the individual sustained minor injuries during the incident."

The individual’s name has not been released to the public.

Police said the matter "is being considered an isolated incident with no further threat to the public."


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