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By MICHAEL GOOT, Portsmouth Bureau Chief, email@example.com
PORTSMOUTH Six police officers subdued a suicidal man who allegedly held a knife to a paramedic’s throat at Portsmouth Regional Hospital this morning.
It was the second time this week that police have responded to a person seeking to commit what officers call “suicide by cop.”
Jason L. Fuller, 39, of Newmarket had friends drop him off at the hospital’s mental health center just before 2:30 a.m. this morning because he is an alcoholic and wanted to be admitted, police said. Fuller, who is taking antidepressant medications, was drunk and had OxyContin and other drugs in his system, said Police Lt. Rodney McQuate. Fuller had also cut his wrists.
When a paramedic tried to help him, Fuller grabbed the paramedic and held him at knifepoint.
“The paramedic was able to get away from him and (Fuller) walked out the emergency room door,” McQuate said.
Officer David Colby responded first to the scene and found Fuller standing outside the emergency room door bleeding from the wrist.
“I drew my firearm and told him to show me his hands, at which point, he responded with a couple expletives,” Colby said.
Colby said Fuller was acting irrational and was out of control.
“He was just yelling that he was drunk and that he needed help and he wanted to go to the Pavilion now,” he said.
Colby ordered Fuller to get down on the ground. Soon after, backup officers Eric Bentz, John Lee and Aaron Goodwin responded to the Borthwick Avenue facility. While Colby kept Fuller covered, Bentz was able to pepper spray Fuller.
Officers were covered in blood from Fuller’s injury to his left wrist, which made it difficult to restrain him. They could not use handcuffs and attempted to bind his arms and legs, which also proved difficult.
Ultimately, police brought Fuller inside the hospital and placed him into arm and leg restraints.
“He was able to escape from the restraints at one point and again the officers there were able to subdue him,” McQuate said.
State Police Trooper Chris Storm and Trooper Seth Garr also assisted at the scene, which was secured at 4 a.m.
Colby said police found the knife tossed in the grass 10 to 15 feet away.
Police do not know what prompted Fuller’s confrontation.
“(With) the amount of alcohol and drugs in Fuller’s system, it’s hard to say what he was thinking at that point,” McQuate said.
Fuller suffered a deep cut that required stitches, although no one else was injured in the attack, police said.
Fuller was scheduled to be arraigned this morning in Portsmouth District Court on felony charge of criminal threatening and a misdemeanor charge of simple assault.
McQuate said this is a different person from the man who on Sunday told police at the hospital that he wanted to die.
The man involved in Sunday’s incident was eventually talked down and no charges were filed in because it is being treated as a medical matter.