Colorado Deputies Plead with ‘Crazy Man’ in the Prairie
On July 28, Weld County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to a call to help a man who was reportedly having a mental health crisis and wandering the Pawnee National Grassland.
Deputies reported to Weld County roads 114 and 37 after a report of a "crazy man on the prairie". The callers reported that the man had entered their property and was armed with a hammer and a knife while wandering around in a field on public land.
When deputies attempted to speak with the man, he would only interact with the police in Spanish. In order to bridge that gap, officers contacted Miguel Herrera with the agency's Civil Unit. Herrera acted as an interpreter for the deputies with the man on the prairie.
According to the Weld County Sheriff's release, the man told officers he was trying to protect himself from the people who were trying to kill him.
Over the next three hours, deputies patiently tried to negotiate with the man and convince him to come with them to Greeley to be evaluated at a hospital. The man kept refusing, so, in a last-ditch effort, officers tried to gain his trust. They told him that it wasn't safe to keep standing in the field because of rattlesnakes and that it wouldn't be wise to stay there alone.
The man finally agreed to this last line of reasoning and immediately dropped the knife and hammer he was wielding. Deputies took the man into Greeley and he also agreed to a mental health evaluation at North Colorado Medical Center.
Sheriff Steve Reams commended deputies for their performance, saying:
The patience and attention deputies demonstrated during this call saved a life on Tuesday, possibly multiple lives.