Fontana Police Officer Joshua Patty

Fontana Police Officer Joshua Patty

A drunk, suicidal man held a woman hostage with a knife and then threatened to blow up his residence during an incident earlier this year in Fontana.

However, thanks to a calm response by Fontana Police Officer Joshua Patty, the suspect eventually surrendered and no persons were injured during the tense encounter.

For his efforts in defusing the stress-filled situation, Patty was honored as the P.D.'s June Employee of the Month during the Fontana City Council meeting on July 27.

Here is the P.D.'s account of the incident, which took place shortly after midnight on May 31:

Dispatch received a call of a suicidal man who was barricaded inside a motorhome with a knife to his own throat. The man was identified through previous calls for service as a former police officer and at the time of the call was extremely intoxicated. Family members told arriving officers that the suspect possibly had a firearm inside the motorhome.

Patty and his trainee were the first to arrive on scene. He immediately realized the situation has escalated and provided dispatch with updates.

Patty saw that the suspect was holding a woman hostage, with a knife pointed at her throat, and refused to release her.

Realizing the severity of the situation, Patty acted without hesitation and put himself in position to rescue the woman.

Patty was able to control the volatile scene, which included the suspect, the victim, several irate family members, and his trainee.

While waiting for additional officers, Patty convinced the suspect to release the hostage and rescued her from the motorhome.

As additional resources arrived, Patty transitioned from the primary contact officer into the primary negotiator on scene and was able to continue verbal contact with the suspect.

However, the suspect then declared a 25-minute countdown for his demands to be met or else he would blow up the trailer.

To show officers how serious his intentions were, the suspect turned on all the gas burners to the stove and held a lighter over them.

The suspect continued to stay in the rear of the motorhome, out of view of officers.

But then, Patty was able to convince the suspect to come to the front of the motorhome and sit in the front passenger seat. After that, Patty got the suspect to put the lighter and knife down and surrender peacefully.

"Officer Patty was extremely calm during the entire situation and should be commended for his actions on scene," said Fontana Police Chief Billy Green. "If it had not been for Officer Patty's ability to immediately control the scene, develop a plan of action and keep contact with the suspect, the situation could have ended much differently."

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