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Squamish Chief police incident the result of a mental health crisis: RCMP

The Stawamus Chief in Squamish.
The Stawamus Chief in Squamish. Simon Little / Global News

Squamish RCMP says a major police incident at the Stawamus Chief on Thursday was the result of a man having an apparent mental health crisis.

The incident saw large numbers of officers, including the Emergency Response Team (ERT) deployed to the popular hiking and climbing destination, and police urge the public to leave the area.

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Police say they were called around 10:45 a.m. by a woman hiking the chief who saw a man who appeared to be in distress.

“The man was walking on the edge of a cliff and was believed to be have weapons on him,” said Sgt. Sascha Banks in a media release.

According to police, ERT officers climbed to the Chief’s first peak in police gear to assess the risk and try to make contact with the man.

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Police were able to make contact with the man around 12:30 p.m. and take him into custody without incident, the RCMP said.

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“We would like to thank the public and the media for avoiding the area while our teams ensured the safety of all those on the Stawamus Chief” said Banks.

“Our geographic area can be extremely technical and challenging for a police response and we are lucky to draw from the expertise of the LMD ERT specialty teams for these exact type of calls.”

Earlier in the day, police had warned the public to avoid the Chief’s parking lot, along with the first and second peak of the massive stone monolith.

Police had also asked the public to avoid sharing photos of officers’ positions on social media.