* (Disclaimer: This video content is intended for educational and informational purposes only) *
Pittsburg, California — Earlier Wednesday afternoon, just after 12:30 P.M., Pittsburg Police Officers responded to the Hampton Inn located on California Avenue regarding a man at the location breaking out a hotel window and smashing items inside his room. The man was later identified as 45-year-old Ashton Porte. Before officers arrived at the business, Porte had locked himself inside his hotel room. When officers arrived at the hotel, they found Porte still inside his fourth-floor hotel room. He had now barricaded himself inside using the furniture from inside the room. Officers also spoke with several of the Porte’s family members who had arrived at the hotel. The family reported Porte was suffering from an acute mental health crisis, and they were seeking to get him some assistance. Officers began speaking with Porte through the locked door, but he refused to exit the room.
Knowing Porte was experiencing mental health difficulties, officers contacted the department’s Crisis Intervention Team, which contains police officers specially trained in working with subjects who are going through a mental health crisis and need assistance. Officers additionally requested assistance from the Contra Costa County Mental Health Evaluation Team (MHET) and the Mobile Crisis Response Team (MCRT) to communicate with Porte. The County Mental Health Evaluation Team is comprised of a Pittsburg Police Officer and mental health clinician from the Contra Costa County Mental Health Evaluation Team. Together, they work with people throughout East Contra Costa County in need of mental health treatment. The Mobil Crisis Response Team includes licensed mental health clinicians, support workers, and family nurse practitioners employed by Contra Costa Behavior Health Services to provide professional intervention for adults experiencing mental health crises.
Officers and mental health staff continued to communicate with Porte throughout the evening. Family members and Porte’s spouse came to the hotel to talk to Porte and attempt to get him out of the hotel room to receive any assistance he needed. During conversations, Porte made statements he wanted to “end it all.” Officers were concerned he could potentially fall out of, or jump from, the broken fourth-floor window and were able to use a utility boom truck to lift a plywood sheet to the hotel room’s window to cover it and prevent this from happening. While speaking with Porte , officers could see he was armed with a large butcher knife and was consistently swinging the knife around. Due to Porte being armed with the knife, the Pittsburg Police Department tactical team arrived at the hotel just before 9:00 P.M. Officers and mental health staff continued to talk with Porte over the next few hours.
Having mental health professionals on the scene was an added benefit to officers. However, no progress was made despite their best efforts, and they left the location just after midnight. After exhausting all reasonable attempts to convince Porte to come out of the room, officers deployed chemical agents into the room to encourage him to come out. The initial deployment of the chemical agent had minimal effect, and Porte remained inside the room. Officers waited a period of time and then made several additional chemical agent deployments. Just before 8:00 A.M. this morning, the chemical agents had enough impact on Porte to get him to come out of the room. Porte was directed out of the room by officers and instructed not to bring the knife. Within moments, Porte came out of the room with the large butcher-style knife in his hand.
Officers were positioned in the hotel’s hallway, with several officers assigned to less-lethal devices. In an attempt to detain Porte safely, two officers shot him with 40mm less-lethal rounds (sponge projectiles) as he entered the hallway. The less-lethal rounds had minimal impact on him, and he then turned toward several officers positioned at the other end of the hallway. Porte then started to walk toward those officers with the knife in his hand, raised over his shoulder. One of the officers fired his service weapon, striking Porte twice in the upper body. Porte was immediately taken into custody, and a tactical medic stabilized him for paramedics to transport him to an area hospital. He remains in stable condition and is expected to survive. No officers were injured during this incident.
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