"The man, a 22-year-old sailor in the U.S. Navy who resided at 14 Island Ave., is not being identified. Police Chief Edward Strong said at the scene that it is department policy not to release the name of suicide victims unless charges are brought."
By Deborah McDermott
January 26, 2009 2:28 PM
KITTERY, Maine A man who police described as depressed, on medications and drinking heavily Monday afternoon was taken to Portsmouth Regional Hospital after holding a knife to his throat and wrists in an apparent suicide attempt. Neither the man nor anyone else was injured, police said.
The man, a 22-year-old sailor in the U.S. Navy who resided at 14 Island Ave., is not being identified. Police Chief Edward Strong said at the scene that it is department policy not to release the name of suicide victims unless charges are brought.
“At this point, because he obviously has mental problems, we’re not anticipating any charges and we’re hoping they’ll commit him so he can get the help he clearly needs,” Strong said.
The incident unfolded around 1 p.m., when police were called to the residence by the man’s roommate, who said the man was depressed and threatening to kill himself. At no time was the roommate in jeopardy, Strong said. The roommate had also called Navy officials, who arrived before police and were trying to talk with the sailor.
The sailor had been stationed on a submarine at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and had been transferred to the Navy base at Groton, Conn., Strong said. He was supposed to have arrived in Groton Monday.
Kittery police called for backup and for assistance from Portsmouth police, who unlike Kittery police have Taser guns. In all, half a dozen police cars and at least that many officers responded.
Strong said after “securing the perimeter,” he “made the decision it was time for us to move in and take action.” Inside, police found the man holding a knife to his throat and wrists. Portsmouth Police Sgt. Kuffer Kaltenborn said the sailor “started to do harm to his wrist.” Kaltenborn used the Taser gun to stop him.
The sailor subsequently was subdued and taken into custody without incident.