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Salt Lake police take man armed with 2 knives safely into custody

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SALT LAKE CITY — A man who police say threatened to stab people and advanced on a Salt Lake officer with two knives was taken into custody safely Thursday.

Police were called Thursday night to the area of 700 S. Redwood Road by a man who said his son was having a “violent psychiatric problem” and that he was armed with a kitchen knife, according to a police affidavit. He said his son, who was on parole, had cut off his ankle monitor and had claimed he “was going to stab people.”

When the first officer arrived at the scene, Bryce Adam Sevy, 32, of Salt Lake City, while holding “two large kitchen knives in both hands ... charged at the officer,” the affidavit states.

The officer got back into his car and backed away to create space between him and Sevy, according to the affidavit. He then waited as backup officers got into position and they attempted to take Sevy into custody by surrounding him and talking to him before using less lethal force.

Officers first tried a Taser, which was ineffective, said Salt Lake police detective Michael Ruff. They then used a .40 mm less lethal round, which essentially involved firing a ball of hard foam at Sevy, knocking him to the ground, he said. While on the ground, officers used a Taser a second time as he continued to struggle with them, before successfully taking him into custody.

Sevy “made many statements that he wanted to commit suicide by cop and said we were supposed to shoot him tonight,” officers wrote.

The Salt Lake City Police Department, as well as departments around the nation, have been under heavy scrutiny this year on their use of deadly force when confronting suspects. But Ruff said in this case, officers did what they have been trained to do for years.

“If we can find a way not to use lethal force, it’s always been our goal,” he said.

The key in this case was the officer was able to create distance between him and Sevy, he said. That officer also happens to be one that had the .40 mm less-than-lethal round in his vehicle, Ruff said.