Police talk down suicidal man after 2-hour standoff outside B.G. restaurant

Laurelwood Public House & Brewery and nearby businesses locked down for abour two hours

By Patty Hastings, Columbian Social Services, Demographics, Faith



Some businesses in Battle Ground Village were locked down Tuesday evening during a two-hour standoff as police talked with a man threatening to commit suicide outside of a restaurant.

A friend of the man called 911 at 4:41 p.m. and reported that the man was in a car, holding a knife to his throat in the parking lot of Laurelwood Public House & Brewery, 1401 S.E. Rasmussen Blvd., said Battle Ground police Chief Bob Richardson.

An estimated 15 officers with the Battle Ground and Vancouver police departments, along with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, converged on the parking lot.

Laurelwood was locked down, along with other nearby business in the complex, Richardson said.

Karen King, a personal trainer and co-owner at Bold Training & Get Bold Events, was leading a group exercise when a police car drove by the workout studio around 5 p.m. Students watched as two more police cars went by, along with a K-9 unit.

“We had no idea what was going on out there,” said co-owner and personal trainer Elba Benzler. “Everyone continued to work out.”

Although police activity slowed down the class, the business, which is near the library and across from Laurelwood, was not told to lock down.

Uncle D’s Wood Fired Pizza got a call from a 911 dispatcher around 5:30 p.m. telling staff to lock the restaurant, said Manager Alex Kemppainen.

During the lockdown, employees had to turn away two customers, though one of them returned later. Kemppainen said they couldn’t let anybody in or out of the building until about a half-hour later, when dispatchers gave the go-ahead.

Hostage negotiators left a training to talk to the man in the parking lot. After two hours, he cooperated with police and got out of the car.

He was transported to a local hospital for a mental health evaluation. The man’s name and age were not released.