NEW PALESTINE — Buses on their way to drop elementary school students off at their homes after school were turned away from a New Palestine neighborhood Monday when police surrounded a home of a man who had made threats of suicide.
The Hancock County SWAT team was called to a home in the Briarwood Trace subdivision in New Palestine around 3 p.m. Monday.
A man living in the 2400 block of S. Moeller Circle made suicidal comments to family members earlier in the day, and officers came to check on him around 3 p.m. Monday.
When the man — whose name was not released by police — did not respond to knocks on his front door, the county’s SWAT team was called as a precautionary measure because investigators had been told the man had access to a weapon.
Negotiators tried repeatedly to reach the man by phone and by using a loudspeaker. When he did not answer, officers kicked down the front door. They found the man inside, uninjured.
The man was taken to an area hospital by ambulance for a psychological evaluation.
Bus drivers trying to drop off students in Briarwood Trace happened upon the scene as officers surrounded the area with guns drawn. They were turned from the area by police for students’ safety.
The children on board the buses were taken to New Palestine High School, where parents were asked to pick them up.
Jenni Dropsey of New Palestine, who came to the high school to pick up her fifth-grader, said it was frightening to see police cars clogging the streets of their neighborhood.
Parents used their neighborhood websites and Facebook pages to share information about what was going on as the incident unfolded, she said.
“For a while, we were unsure what was going on,” Dropsey said. “There were tons of cars and police had rifles out.”
Reporter Kristy Deer contributed to this report.