GENEVA — While criminal charges are possible, city police are treating a 5½-hour standoff that started Monday night as a mental health situation for now.
“When we have a situation like this, with mental health conditions in play, potential charges take a back burner. Those can be sorted out,” Chief Mike Passalacqua said Tuesday. “The mental health side is more important.”
The incident started just after 7:30 p.m. Officers responded to 118 Pulteney St. for a reported domestic incident involving a male and female. The male emerged and told police the female fired a gun once inside the residence, but no one was hit.
Passalacqua said there are at least four apartments in the building; other residents were evacuated. Pulteney Street was shut down to vehicular and foot traffic between Washington and William streets, and nearby residents were told to stay in their homes.
Officers were able to talk to the woman, but Passalacqua said she refused to come out. Police negotiators talked to the woman for several hours without success before the Ontario County SWAT Team was called in and forced entry into the building.
The female was taken into custody without further incident and sent to Clifton Springs Hospital & Clinic for mental health treatment.
“Right now, because of what is involved, we are not releasing her name due to privacy concerns,” Passalacqua said. “We need to keep that in mind.”
No one was injured during the incident. The neighborhood shelter-in-place was lifted at approximately 2 a.m. After the scene was cleared, authorities seized several firearms and a large amount of ammunition from the residence.
Passalacqua declined to be more specific on some aspects of the case, but said the investigation continues.
The incident prompted an emergency response that also included the Ontario County sheriff’s office, Canandaigua police, state police, Seneca County sheriff’s office, Geneva Fire Department, and Finger Lakes Ambulance.
“We are still trying to work our way through this,” Passalacqua said of the case, thanking the police, fire and EMS agencies, and noting there was not a large amount of people trying to get a look at the scene. “I would like to thank members of the community for their cooperation and patience during this critical incident.”