Apparent suicidal man, 19, holds family hostage, bites officer

A 19-year-old suicidal man was hospitalized after he briefly held three adult family members and two young children hostage in a Ramona apartment before injuring his throat with an 8-inch knife and biting a sheriff’s sergeant, authorities said.

Deputies were called to the apartment in the 700 block of A Street around 6:40 p.m. Sunday, according to San Diego County sheriff’s Sgt. Daniel Vengler.

The caller said that his 19-year-old nephew was holding a knife to his own chest and would not let family members leave the apartment, Vengler said in a statement.

Cal Fire ladders were set up to get the hostages out of the second-story apartment. The sergeant said two women and two children, ages 3 and 5, were rescued from the rear of the apartment and the uncle who called 911 was rescued out the front of the apartment.

For nearly two hours, authorities worked to coax the 19-year-old out of the apartment until he stabbed himself with a knife, and non-lethal measures were used to stop him from hurting himself further, Vengler said.

While deputies and paramedics rendered aid to the man, he became combative and bit a sheriff’s sergeant, causing an injury, Vengler said without elaboration.

The 19-year-old was taken to Palomar Medical Center in stable condition. He is expected to recover from his injuries, Vengler said.

   
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