Three officers from the Bloomington Police Department were injured while taking into custody an unhoused 57-year-old man having a mental health crisis in downtown Bloomington Sunday night, said BPD Capt. Ryan Pedigo.
A driver reported to police a man tried to strike two vehicles with long pieces of wood appearing to be baseball bats around 11:14 p.m., but an officer who went to the area in the 400 block of S. Walnut failed to locate a suspect.
Then around 11:34 p.m. an officer on routine patrol in the area of 2nd Street between S. Walnut and S. College observed a man in the middle of the road with what appeared to be baseball bats but were actually 2×2 pieces of wood, said Pedigo. The officer had to swerve to miss the man.
The man was walking towards the police officer when the officer asked the man to drop the sticks and move out of the road.
However, the man began to be verbally aggressive with the police officer and refused to drop the sticks, then continued walking northbound on S. Walnut. The police officer recognizing the man was having a mental health crisis called for other officers to assist. The man later lunged at the officer with the sticks and said he wished to kill individuals in the Bloomington area, said Pedigo.
When officers tried to take the man into custody, he began swinging the sticks at the officers striking at least one officer. As the man was running at the officers with the pieces of wood in his hands he was struck by an object fired from a less-lethal launcher by police in the area of the Bloomington transit center, said Pedigo.
The man was then detained and taken for a mental evaluation. However, three officers were injured while taking the man into custody. Injuries included one officer suffering lacerations to the hands while tackling the man, another suffering a cut to his left hand by being struck with a piece of wood, and another officer injured both knees and their right wrist, said Pedigo.