GRANTS PASS, Ore. — After a lengthy standoff on Thursday, police in Grants Pass arrested a man that they believe attacked a family friend while in the midst of a mental health crisis.
Officers responded to a home at 1414 Parkdale Drive shortly after 11:30 a.m. for multiple 911 calls reporting a disturbance. Callers said that a man had thrown a woman to the ground and was "trying to gouge out" her eyes.
The suspect, identified as 40-year-old Anthony Paris Alberts, was standing outside when police arrived, and the attack appeared to be over. When officers told Alberts that he was under arrest, he locked himself inside the home and refused to come out, according to the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety.
Investigating the alleged attack, GPDPS said officers found out that Alberts had attacked his mother's friend in the driveway. The victim had serious injuries and was taken via ambulance to Three Rivers Medical Center for treatment.
"Alberts picked up the 63-year-old woman and slammed her into the ground before striking her and trying to gouge her eyes out with his fingers, all while threatening to kill her," GPDPS said.
Officers came to believe that Alberts was suffering from a mental health crisis, bringing in more officers and detectives. GPDPS called in its Crisis Negotiations Team, SWAT Team, and a mental health consultant from Options for Southern Oregon.
"Disturbances involving a person in crisis can be volatile in nature and create added risks for the individual, law enforcement and the public. The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety takes these types of incidents seriously and treats them with an abundance of caution," the agency said. "For the past several years, Options has partnered with GPDPS to provide both a Mobile Crisis Unit and mental health consultants for CNT."
Crisis negotiators tried for the next two hours to de-escalate the situation and encourage Alberts to come out, but GPDPS said that he did not respond.
Around 2 p.m., Alberts tried to leave through the back door, where a police K9 team was waiting. The K9 bit Alberts, but GPDPS said that he "continued to resist" and another officer used a Taser to subdue him.
Alberts was eventually taken into custody by police officers and transported to Three Rivers Medical center for evaluation. He was later lodged at the Josephine County Jail on charges of Assault in the Second Degree, Strangulation, Menacing, and Escape in the Third Degree.
"Parkdale Drive was shut down for several hours during this incident and we would like to thank the public for their patience as we resolved this matter," GPDPS concluded.