Medford standoff ends without charges, suspect Tasered

A Medford man who barricaded himself inside his home for several hours Saturday after suggesting he wanted to commit "suicide by cop" has been turned over to mental health officials and probably won't face criminal charges, police said.

Police responded to a domestic disturbance at 11:21 a.m. at a home in the 700 block of Rock Road Drive, a small residential road just east of Crater Lake Avenue in Medford.

A woman at the house told police her boyfriend, who was later identified as 20-year-old Kyle David St. Marie, had made statements that he wanted to commit "suicide by cop," which means he was going to threaten police with a weapon until they were forced to shoot him.

The woman fled the house and was taken into protective custody by Medford police. Officers then surrounded the house after St. Marie barricaded himself inside.

Officers evacuated homes in the area and set up a perimeter around the neighborhood, Medford police Sgt. Brent Mak said.

"During standoffs we have to evacuate residents for their own safety," Mak said. "It is time-consuming and takes a lot of manpower, not to mention inconveniences those who live in the area."

A police negotiator was called in to coax St. Marie out of the house.

The negotiator spent hours trying to communicate with St. Marie and finally talked him out of the home about five hours after the standoff began.

As he exited the home, St. Marie ignored demands made by officers and was Tasered. He was then taken into custody without further incident.

St. Marie might not face criminal charges in the standoff, but was turned over to mental health officials.

Mak said the couple might have been in the process of breaking up, which is what probably started the dispute.

The incident put a strain on Medford police's manpower on a busy weekend night, Mak said.

"We had to call two shifts in early to handle calls around the city while we were at the house," Mak said. "These standoffs can be a drain on us."

Mak said anyone with suicidal thoughts can call police for a voluntary transport to mental health services.

"It is a service we provide almost every day," Mak said. "It's better than initialing a standoff with police."

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471; or e-mail cconrad@mailtribune.com.

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