The Hamilton Spectator

Police Taser naked, bleeding man who slashed himself


A man was taken to hospital and apprehende­d under the Mental Health Act after he was found naked on Sanford Avenue South after cutting himself with a knife Sunday night.

Hamilton police were called to Sanford, between Main Street and Delaware Avenue, around 8:30 p.m. for a medical call.

Witness Larry Hamel said he saw a naked man in the street outside his three-storey brick apartment building in a flood of flashing lights.

“I just saw him running along and falling on the road,” said Hamel, who lives in the same building as the man. “And then the cops were on him like bees to honey.”

He was “just kind of waving the knife around” and trying to cut his groin, said a neighbour who declined to be identified.

He had seen him occasional­ly drinking a beer or having a smoke outside: “Nothing weird.”

Hamel described him as a quiet man in his 30s who has lived in the building for a couple of years. “He’s a bit of a loner, never has very much to say.”

The man sustained self-inflicted injuries from an edged weapon before police arrived, Const. Steve Welton confirmed. His injuries were non-life-threatenin­g.

Officers found the man “clearly in a mental health crisis,” he said. “The officers resolved a very dangerous situation that saved this man’s life.” Welton confirmed a Taser was deployed. Virginia Burtenshaw, who lives down the street, says the commotion was “like something out of a movie.”

“The police were yelling, ‘Put it down. Put it down.’”

Hamilton Fire spokespers­on Dave Christophe­r said the call came in as an uncontroll­ed bleed, but firefighte­rs were recalled before arriving.

Welton encouraged anyone in crisis to call the COAST (crisis outreach and support team) line at 905-972-8338.

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