Woman climbs billboard, runs from officers near Children's Museu - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Woman climbs billboard, runs from officers near Children's Museum

Source: WMC Action News 5 Source: WMC Action News 5
Source: WMC Action News 5 Source: WMC Action News 5

Drivers at the intersection of Central Avenue and Hollywood Street witnessed a wild police take-down on Thursday morning just before 9 a.m.

WMC Action News 5's Jerica Phillips captured video on her cell phone of a woman, wearing only leggings and a sports bra, involved in a confrontation with Memphis police officers.

Initially, it appeared as though the woman was jogging, but then officers created a barricade with their squad cars to keep her from dashing out in to the street. 

Memphis police officers received three calls about the woman. All three callers described the woman as erratic and reported she was laying in the street and yelling at cars.

Others reported that the woman had climbed up the billboard sign at Central Avenue and Flicker Street. When officers arrived, they say the woman was climbing down from the billboard, acting aggressively, and threatening to fight officers.

The woman continued to run from officers, even running into the middle of the street, in front of the Children's Museum of Memphis and the Christ Community Health Services. The Children's Museum had not yet opened and no children witnessed the incident.

Dr. Steve Sittnick works as the chief medical officer at Christ Community Health Services. He said when his office encounters combative patients with mental health challenges, the first priority is always safety.

"We assess the situation and determine if the person presents a threat to themselves or others," said Sittnick. "Next, we call the Mobile Crisis Line, if needed."

The incident at the Central Avenue intersection could have happened anywhere around the city, and Sittnick said not only should police officers know what to do, but the community should also know how to handle the situations.

"Make sure to remove all weapons and items that present a threat, and then call law enforcement," explained Sittnick.

Emergency crews eventually took the woman to the Memphis Mental Health Institute.

For help in a mental health crisis, call 1-855-CRISIS-1 or (1-855-274-7471).

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