PURSUIT OF SUICIDAL SUBJECT
Multi-agency pursuit ends with subject in custody
(Posted 7 11 19)
At approximately 1:00 AM on Thursday, July 11, 2019, Jacksonville Police Department received a call about a possibly armed subject who caused a disturbance at a residence in the Carolina Forest and left the area by vehicle.
A short time later, officers located a vehicle matching the description at McDonalds, located at Gum Branch and Western. The subject, Samuel James Rivera, 27, of Hickory, was speaking with family members who came to the location to meet him. Officers confirmed that the subject was armed. While officers speaking with the subject were attempting to de-escalate the situation, Rivera became agitated, crashed his vehicle into another and fled the area at a high rate of speed.
With the assistance of Richlands Police Department and Onslow County Sheriff’s Office, officers pursued the subject into the area of Wiggs Street in Richlands. Rivera attempted to elude police by hiding his vehicle among the treeline with other vehicles, but was quickly located by the officers. Rivera attempted to flee officers again when his vehicle became stuck and he abandoned the vehicle, fleeing on foot.
Responding officers set up a perimeter and deployed a K-9 unit to search the area. Officers again attempted to de-escalate the situation. During this search, Rivera doubled back to the area and stole the JPD K-9 SUV. Rivera again fled the area at a high rate of speed.
Officers were able to talk to Rivera on the police radio and to obtain voluntary compliance and resolve a situation without use of force, which makes the encounter safer for everyone, includ¬ing the Mr. Rivera. These tactical communication skills are especially important in dealing with persons who are in crisis.
The pursuit continued to NC Highway 70 and included assistance from NC SHP, Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office, Kinston Police Department and Jones County Sheriff’s Office. Jacksonville Police Officers were able to
communicate with Rivera during the pursuit, ultimately convincing the subject to surrender. Rivera stopped the K-9 vehicle in the area of US 70 Eastbound near the Lenoir and Jones County line. He was taken into custody without further incident.
There were no injuries and there was no damage to the K-9 SUV. Rivera is undergoing an assessment at Onslow Memorial Hospital. Charges are pending. The case remains under investigation at this time.
“We wish to thank our law enforcement partners from Richlands PD, Onslow County Sheriff’s Office, Kinston Police Department, Lenoir and Jones County Sheriff’s Office and the NC State Highway Patrol for their support and assistance with this case” said Deputy Chief Ronnie Dorn, Deputy Chief of Patrol and Field Operations.
“This subject made it very clear to officers that he wanted to end his life or wanted officers to end his life” said Chief Mike Yaniero, Director of Public Safety. “The sanctity of human life is the heart of everything we do. In this case, the training of the officers and their skills in de-escalation enabled us to resolve the situation without injury to the subject or to officers.”