Sentencing for knife-wielding man who forced standoff outside PD - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Sentencing for knife-wielding man who forced standoff outside PD

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A 61-year-old man who waved a knife outside San Diego police headquarters - prompting a two-hour standoff that ended when he was subdued by beanbag rounds and a large rubber bullet - was sentenced Tuesday to a year in jail.

Mark Steven Brown pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of resisting police and brandishing a deadly weapon stemming from the March 25 standoff.

Commissioner Lee Witham said Brown had 17 arrests or other run-ins with officers at SDPD headquarters in the last three years.

Deputy City Attorney Karolyn Westfall said Brown had been contacted by police at or near headquarters 13 times this year alone. She said the defendant was arrested Jan. 26 while brandishing a fork outside the police building.

At about 10:45 a.m. March 25, an undercover officer noticed Brown holding a 7 1/2-inch knife as he walked in front of the station at 1400 Broadway, yelling at passersby.

Westfall said Brown threatened to kill the officer if he came any closer.

The officer responded by pulling his service pistol and ordering Brown to disarm himself, police said. When Brown refused, the officer retreated and called for backup.

Police closed the street in front of the headquarters complex while several dozen officers gathered in the street about 30 feet from Brown and ordered him to surrender.

Instead, he continued to rant and shouted derisively at the phalanx of officers, many of whom had their guns drawn. Crisis negotiators were called in to try to reason with the seemingly enraged white-haired man, who was clad in baggy black pants and a puffy gray-green jacket and carrying a backpack

The stalemate continued into the afternoon as Brown alternately walked back and forth on the roadside and sat on a short retaining wall next to a landscaped median, clutching the knife in his left hand and gesturing with the other while shouting insults about police, homosexuals and the news media.

Several times, Brown - the subject of a prior court order to stay away from the police station due to the string of disturbances he'd caused there - yelled that he did not want to go back to the county's psychiatric trauma hospital, and at one point said he'd been off his "meds" for "60 days now."

The stalemate continued until shortly after 1 p.m., when officers fired a single 40-mm rubber bullet and at least four beanbags from a shotgun at Brown, causing him to stagger and collapse.

Though incapacitated, Brown held on to the knife. After a moment, police sent in a service dog, which bit him on the arm, forcing him to drop the weapon.

Westfall said the defendant has obvious mental health issues but refuses to take his medications and won't listen to doctors.

The prosecutor said Brown had repeatedly been ordered to stay away from police headquarters and in the latest incident had resorted to violence.

"I feel he's quite dangerous," Westfall said outside court.

Witham refused to place Brown on probation because the commissioner said the defendant couldn't comply.

"We have serious concerns about this defendant being in the community due to his escalating behavior." a probation officer told Witham.

Witham called Brown's claim of "unrelenting harassment" by police "ridiculous."

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