Body cam shows Roanoke Rapids officer disarming suicidal man
Posted August 6, 2015
Roanoke Rapids, N.C. — A Roanoke Rapids man called 911 on July 27 to report that he wanted to hurt himself, but police Officer Jamie Hardy managed to prevent anyone from being harmed in a confrontation captured on Hardy's department-issued body camera.
David Bundy, 39, told the dispatcher that he was hearing voices after smoking marijuana and not taking some of his prescribed medications.
When Hardy arrived at the house, Bundy answered the door but was reaching for something in his back pocket. The body-cam video shows Hardy clamping down on Bundy's arms while speaking calmly to him.
"Calm down. Stop, stop, stop. Everything is OK. What is it?" Hardy said.
After Bundy told him he had a knife, the officer asked if he could have it, but Bundy refused, saying he needed the knife to cut himself.
"I don’t want you to hurt me, and I don’t want you to hurt yourself either. Don’t take that knife out," Hardy told him. "Listen, I got a little kid at home, and I want to go home to him, OK? And I don’t want nothing bad to happen to you. That’s why I’m here."
On Thursday, as Hardy watched the video, he said his focus was on the safety of the situation.
"I was debating, am I going to have to let him go? Am I going to have to use deadly force?" he said.
The officer was able to wrestle Bundy to the ground, and paramedics who arrived on the scene at that point got the knife away from Bundy.
"Nobody wants to hurt anybody else," Hardy said. "Our job is, we're out here protecting people."
The two men met for the first time Thursday since that tense encounter, and an emotional Bundy said he would like to build a friendship with Hardy.
"If it weren't for him, I wouldn't be here today," Bundy said, adding that he's back on his medications. "He saved my life."
Joan Bundy wept and hugged Hardy, thanking him for stopping her son from hurting himself or anyone else.
Roanoke Rapids Police Chief Charles Hasty said Hardy handled the situation as he was trained to do.
"It could have possibly been a deadly force situation, and those skills he used prevented that," Hasty said.
Donations from local businesses have allowed the Roanoke Rapids Police Department to purchase body cameras for 26 patrol officers, and Hasty said fundraising efforts continue to purchase cameras for the rest of the force.
"The cameras are helping us find the truth," he said.