Bettendorf police continue to investigate an incident that led to a three-hour standoff Wednesday in which a man they were talking to may have taken his own life, Police Chief Phil Redington said Thursday night.

“Officially, we’re not classifying it as a suicide because the investigation is ongoing,” Redington said. “However, we don’t suspect foul play.”

The Scott County Medical Examiner’s Office needs to complete its investigation as well, he said.

Redington said he could not release the man’s name or address because the department’s policy in a possible suicide is not to do so.

The incident began about 3 p.m. in the 5500 block of Joshua Street after a member of the man’s family called police complaining that the man had pulled a gun and made threatening motions with it at the family member.

“There were no witnesses to the event to back up the complaint, and after consulting with Mike Walton (Scott County Attorney) it was determined not to prosecute,” Redington said. “We agreed with and understand that decision.”

Members of Davenport’s Tactical Operations Bureau, as well as the Scott County Emergency Command Mobile Command Center, with backup from the Rock Island County Sheriff’s Department, were at the scene with Bettendorf police until 6:10 p.m., when authorities determined they could do no more and left, Redington said.

“No charges were forthcoming,” he said. “No criminal acts had been committed. He had not threatened neighbors or himself.

“He was not going to come out and we could not legally enter the house,” Redington said. “He was legally in his home and didn’t want to cooperate with us. We couldn’t go into his house and we really couldn’t go on his property.

“Had he threatened anyone, we would have stayed there,” Redington said. “We lost contact with him around 4:30-4:35 p.m.”

About an hour after police left, he said, a friend found the man dead. A cause of death was not released.

It is hoped an autopsy will be able to tell when he died, he added.

“It is an unfortunate situation,” Redington said.

Contrary to popular belief, he said, “police officers don’t have unlimited authority. We could not go into the house to check on his welfare, as he hadn’t threatened to harm himself. He hadn’t threatened us, and he hadn’t threatened the neighbors.”

Under those circumstances, police have no authority to enter someone’s house, Redington said, “and we don’t believe we should have that authority” because the chances of abuse would be too great.

There is no set protocol for such situations, because each standoff situation is different, Redington said.

As with any critical incident, heads of the Bettendorf police divisions will review the incident to see what they can learn for any future incidents, he added.

“We do that with any critical incident,” Redington said. “But once it was determined that no laws had been violated we had no authority to do anything more.”

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(14) comments

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They knew repeatedly he was threatening his life.

mbmom

The story from the police still doesn't explain how:
- they had a standoff with a man, that they used their manpower of their swap team for 3 hours with
- told residents around his house to stay in their basements
- blocked the neighborhood off & homeowners couldn't get into their homes

& then let him go WITHOUT a pysyhiatric evaluation. Don't you think for whatevers reasons they did all of the above that that man should maybe had gotten some type of a mental health evaluation. Isn't that a protcol of any situation like this? He obviously didn't realize that he needed the help from someone who is trained to help him. Isn't there anyone in the police department who is trained to know these things?

VERY TRAGIC & yes, he may have tried to commit suicide regardless. But what if he had gotten some of the help he needed from a professional because of the BPD and their "standoff". SAD & I would say yes, they need to do some reevaluation.

jamalee

So let me get this straight. If my husband threatened me with a gun, it's just his word against mine. I'm not saying the guy's relative was a significant other, but I'm mightily confused about all of this.
So sad for the family.

taphophiliac owl

I think this situation sounds worse than perhaps it was due to the word "standoff". When I hear that word I can't help but imagine the man in question pointing a gun out of a window while police try to talk to him through a bullhorn. The streets were blocked off, which means the police believed there was a possible threat to the public, right? The story mentioned the police talking to him by phone - did they ever enter the residence, did the man refuse to come out...? The word "standoff", to my mind, raises a lot of questions.

familytimeusa

It is a very sad ending to a situation that could've been prevented if the man had gotten help from local resources.It is not the fault of the police in this case. If he was serious about taking his life, he would've found a way to do it at some point in time. People need to be accountable for their own actions and stop blaming others. That's what is wrong with our world. Blame others for our problems. Instead we need to focus our energy on prayers for his family and friends who are left to grieve.

Common Sense 50
Common Sense 50

"The incident began about 3 p.m. in the 5500 block of Joshua Street after a member of the man’s family called police complaining that the man had pulled a gun and made threatening motions with it at the family member." If this the reason they went into the house then how can they justify saying that he as not threatening anyone? This is lame excuse to cover their failure that cost a very depressed man his life, sad...

PTBA

CS 50 ... If you would read a little further after your quote, it becomes obvious that the authorities had NO witnesses, NO proof of threats made, and likely did not know who made the initial phone call. They consulted with a legal authority to determine further action. You are allowed your opinion, but I think it's better to let those that are trained in these things to handle the job at the scene. Mr Reddington and his folks did a good job. It's not always possible to save someone from themselves.

Common Sense 50
Common Sense 50

I do know the family and his sister that was staying with him called the police and she did talk to them extensively about her concerns, so that particular excuse doesn't fly. And they should have someone trained in talking people out of a "standoff" situation, not just decide the threat is over and leave??

Comment
Comment

I agree and do not understand why I called for an ambulance prior to this day and they sent the police who did nothing.

QCMNAL

If he was very depressed, who was trying to get him help before the "standoff"? Its very sad he took his life and my thoughts and prayers are with his family.

machineboy
machineboy

I absolutely support Phil Reddington and his officers in the decision to back off and let the man work out his demons one way or another. There was no threat to the public, and no reason to risk officers' lives in rushing the house. It is sad that the man's mind had painted itself into a corner over his marital/financial situation when he had so many more positive options. RIP

writingmomma

If this man had threatened one of his family member with a gun, then that is grounds for an arrest. Now, you cant tell me that the dispatcher didn't get the name or contact number of the person that made that call. How did they know he wouldn't have been a danger to others? Anytime a gun is involved, there is usually danger! I am waiting for the name to come out to see if he was someone of prominence in the area. Hmmmm? Most of them usually get away with whatever they do around here, while others are shot, killed or given 20 to life!

Common Sense 50
Common Sense 50

I believe because of the upscale neighborhood and his position that they chose not to make waves...really reverse discrimination. If it was a poor neighborhood they would have assumed the worse and made a better attempt to subdue the person and therefore he would have gotten much needed mental health evaluation...

Common Sense 50
Common Sense 50

oh and yes, since when can you threaten your family member with a gun and it be ok as long as you didn't threaten the neighbors???

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