Volusia sheriff disarms suicidal man after low-speed chase, deputies say

Sheriff Chitwood speaks with subject during chase, talking him down

DeLAND, Fla. – Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood successfully pulled a knife away from a suicidal man Thursday evening after leading authorities on a low-speed chase through DeLand.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call about a man threatening to kill himself in DeLand with active warrants for his arrest. DeLand police and Volusia County deputies found the man in his truck, but he fled, the Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post.

Chitwood was in the area after leaving the Volusia County Fair, and was contacted by the man’s mother while authorities were attempting to stop the truck. The sheriff was able to call the man and get him to stop, according to the report.

Sheriff's Office public Information Officer Andrew Gant said it's not unusual for people in the community to call Chitwood.

"Half of Volusia County already has his cell phone number and this mother actually had it and called him and asked him to help," Gant said. "That's what he did. That's just the way he is."

Even after stopping the truck, the man, who had cut himself with a box cutter, was threatening to cut his throat and refused to surrender, deputies said.

Video of the incident shows the slow chase and two-hour standoff after he pulled over. The truck was down to its rims by the time the suspect stopped.

[Watch the full video at the top of this story. WARNING: There is graphic content at the end of the video.]

“He wants to surrender in front of his mom,” Chitwood said during the chase.

Deputy body camera video shows Chitwood speaking with the man, while the suspect held a box cutter to his throat. While trying to talk the man down, he attempted to stab himself and Chitwood was about to grab the box cutter out of his hand. The suspect was Tased and taken into custody.

"I think (what) the sheriff would tell you is, it's not about him," Gant said. "He was there, he happened to be there, thankfully, to get involved and help out, but really it was everyone else, who was involved from this in the beginning."

The man was treated at Halifax Health Center in Daytona Beach. He is facing charges of resisting arrest and fleeing the scene, according to the Sheriff's Office.

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