Carthage police responded to a call to check on a man believed to be intoxicated in the 1100 block of south Lyon Street but he fled when police approached, then stabbed himself in the heart when officers tried to take him into custody.
Police said the man, Leonel Moore, 22, Carthage, later died from his wound at Freeman West Hospital.
It's the second time in a week someone has killed himself during an encounter with Carthage police officers,and third time in a week officers have dealt with a suicidal person, but Police Chief Greg Dagnan said there is no other link between the incidents.
Police said the latest incident started at 11:47 a.m. on Sunday.
Police said the man was reported as intoxicated and walking in the street with two knives.
“The subject was contacted in the 100 block of west 11th Street,” police said in a written release. “ The subject then ran from the police and was relocated in the 100 block of west 10th Street were the subject attempted suicide by self inflected knife wounds before police could take him into custody. The subject was transported to Freeman hospital where he was later pronounced deceased from the knife wounds.”
Dagnan said the man ran when police approached and the incident happened very quickly.
“The officers witnessed the stabbing,” Dagnan said. “They started CPR immediately.”
On Saturday, Aug. 3, a Joplin man, Charles Roderique, attempted to kill himself by hanging himself with bedsheets in the Carthage City Jail.
Police Chief Greg Dagnan said Roderique was alone in a cell, and an officer on a routine check discovered that Roderique had tried to kill himself.
Roderique was taken to Mercy McCune-Brooks Hospital in Carthage and was declared dead on Monday, Aug. 5.
Police also had to use a Taser on an apparently-suicidal man who was cutting himself with a knife on Friday in the 800 block of east Fourth Street.
At 8:05 p.m. on Friday, officers responded to a call of a man who was cutting his own neck.
When they arrived, witnesses told officers the man had dropped the knife and ran into the back yard.
Officers found him with blood coming from wounds in his neck and forehead and he refused officers' orders to lay on the ground.
He was becoming increasingly agitated and aggressive towards the officers.
After a brief standoff, one Carthage officer fired a Taser at the man when it became apparent that he was not going to comply with commands being given to him and was trying to enter the back door of the residence where there were numerous other adults and children present.
Page 2 of 2 - The man was instantly immobilized by the Taser and officers were then able to take him into custody without him causing further injury to himself or others that were present.
In addition to the superficial non-life threatening knife wounds to his neck, he also had superficial cuts to his forehead area from slamming his head through the side window of a vehicle that was located in the back yard just prior to the arrival of officers.
The man was taken into custody for a 96-hour mental evaluation.
He was also charged with domestic assault for allegedly physically fighting a male relative, property damage for allegedly breaking the window of a vehicle belonging to another subject, and obstruction for failing to comply with the officers’ commands.
Taking a toll
Dagnan said officers know they sign on to seeing this kind of thing when they take the job of police officer, but the cumulative affect, especially of so many incidents so close together, can wear on officers.
“Yeah, you kind of expect it, but as time goes on, if you're not proactive about your mental health, it does take a toll,” Dagnan said. “It takes a toll, not only on the officer, but obviously on the family of the victim and on the community as a whole. When you have an incident on the street like this, a lot of people see it and it has an impact on that part of the community.”