Sheriff Chitwood faces tense challenge on 1st full day back on job after COVID-19 battle

Sheriff Chitwood said he was raring to go

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood was in the thick of it Tuesday morning, he helped deescalate a situation involving a suicidal man while still recovering from COVID-19.

[RELATED: Suicidal man taken into custody after situation in DeLand, deputies say]

“I lost 12 days of my life. I have to make it all up now probably in the next 24 hours,” said Sheriff Chitwood. “You can’t sleep, you can’t eat but I got the all-clear to go back to work, so I’m raring to go here.”

On his first full day back to work, Sheriff Chitwood responded to Advent Health DeLand where authorities said an armed man was threatening to kill himself.

“I really didn’t expect to get too involved in negotiations today. It wasn’t until Deputy Clausen got involved and said, well the sheriff is standing right here. The sheriff’s the one that could make A,B, C happen,” he said.

The sheriff said he then established a rapport with the man, while DeLand Police, SWAT, along with DeLand Bomb Units and drone units stood nearby. The situation briefly put DeLand City Hall on lockdown and kept the hospital on lockdown for hours.

A picture from the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office showed the sheriff shaking hands with the man at one point before authorities used bean bag rounds to take him out of the car and walked him to the hospital for treatment.

“COVID-19 was not even on our minds. Our whole thoughts were to get this guy out safely. Don’t let any of my deputies have to kill this guy or be killed,” said Sheriff Chitwood.

No charges will be filed.

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