It was a tense situation for Jackson police as they went to the home of a suicidal resident Sunday, but in the end, officers managed to talk a 51-year-old man out of harming himself, authorities said.

(Photo: ThinkStock)

Responding to an abandoned 911 call on Kings North Road at 11:37 p.m., Police Officers Anthony Riso and Phil Minissale were told by a resident that there was a man in the home who had ingested several different types of medication.

Using caution, the officers went into another room where they found the man sitting on a couch. He was holding a large steak knife against his abdomen. After requesting that an ambulance respond and stand by at the location, police began to talk to the man.

"From a safe location with their firearms drawn, the officers then engaged the male in conversation to get him to drop the knife," Capt. Steven Laskiewicz said in a Facebook post. "The officers were familiar with the male from previous interactions and spoke with him while he also made phone calls while seated on the couch while pressing the knife into his abdomen."

For the next half hour, several police officers - including Sgt. Frank Mendez and Officer Shannon Foote - talked to the man in an effort to drop the knife he was holding. Eventually, police said, he tossed the knife to the side in a "safe direction," at which point it was retrieved by police.

The man was taken to a local medical facility for treatment, authorities said.

"I would like to commend these officers for their professionalism and the restraint exercised in what could have potentially been a deadly force encounter which was gratefully resolved without escalation,"  Laskiewicz said on Facebook. "They are an outstanding example of the department’s staff, supervisors and training cadre."

If you're having suicidal thoughts and need help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or the New Jersey Hopeline at 1-855-654-6735.

Toniann Antonelli is the digital managing editor for news at NJ 101.5. Reach her at, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.

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