County News

A day-long standoff in Jerome at the Columbia mine shaft between local police agencies and an unidentified man who escaped from a Cottonwood mental health facility ended peacefully at approximately 12:45 p.m., Thursday, April 7.

Officers were able to lure the man away from the edge of a 900-foot deep shaft with the promise of walking his family's dog.

The man reportedly escaped from the Mingus Center on Wednesday, April 6, and unconfirmed reports said he led police on a foot chase down a steep gully just east of the Jerome State Historic Park before moving into the entry of the Columbia mine shaft.

Fearful of the man falling down the mine shaft, the police treated the situation delicately and gave the man food, water and a blanket for the cold night after he refused to leave the mine. It is not known exactly how the man made it from Cottonwood to Jerome.

Around noon on Thursday, Jerome Police Chief Allen Muma and Clarkdale police officer Nicole Florisi brought down the man's parents' dog to try to convince him to leave the mine and surrender. The man soon agreed to leave with the police if he would be allowed to walk the dog back up the steep hill.

After securing the distressed man, police escorted him up the hill with the dog to waiting police vehicles and his parents.

Before being taken away to the Yavapai County Detention Center, the man announced he had been Tasered by police officers outside of the mine shaft entryway.

Law enforcement agencies responding to the incident included Jerome, Clarkdale and Cottonwood police departments and the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office.Police officers lead a mentally ill man who had been refusing to leave the entry to the Columbia mine shaft in Jerome up a steep hill to waiting police cars Thursday, April 7. The man allegedly escaped from a Cottonwood mental health facility on Wednesday, April 6.


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