Posted: Sep 27, 2013 8:50 PM by MTN News - Helena
HELENA - On Thursday morning Lewis and Clark County deputies responded to a call of a domestic disturbance which trained officers identified as a mental health crisis.
Instead of sending the individual to jail, they were able to get that person treatment.
Deputies responded to the call on the 5400 block of Kerr Drive where a woman inside was wielding a kitchen knife.
Her nephew, who made the call, had barricaded himself in the bedroom. The responding deputy tells us the woman, with no known mental health issues, was in and out of reality with the situation and didn't recognize family members and they recognized the situation as a mental health crisis.
Once authorities got the knife away from her, she was sent to St. Pete's to be evaluated and receive treatment.
Sheriff Leo Dutton said, "The take-home message here is, they didn't charge her. Had we went by the letter of the law she could have been charged with a felony of assault with a weapon. We could have went with domestic abuse, but they went with what the genesis was of the problem and that was a mental health issue."
Sheriff Dutton said that thanks to the community, several of his deputies and the officers from the Helena Police Department are ‘Crisis Intervention Trained' to deal with these exact situations.