Local News

Warrant: Woman tried to hit officer with ax

Posted November 15, 2009

— Raleigh police say that a 45-year-old woman used an ax to attack an officer responding to a domestic incident at her house Saturday.

Officer J.T. Heinrich responded to calls about the incident at Sandra W. Mitchell's home at 315 Idlewild Ave.

Mitchell refused to put down a 3-foot ax when ordered, then raised it and tried to strike Heinrich, arrest warrants say. She also tried to pull away when he tried to handcuff her, according to the warrants.

Mitchell was charged with two counts of assaulting a government official with a deadly weapon and resisting a public officer.

She was being held at the Wake County Jail under a $42,000 bond. Her first court appearance was set for Monday morning.


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  • paulmichaelowens Nov 16, 2009

    Great job Officers!

    Diplomacy is never a bad strategy.

    The US Army needs some of the "trigger-happy" people here.

    Think before you speak. Think before you shoot. Think before you act.

    Common Denominator = THINK

  • Safeandsound Nov 16, 2009

    Just keep in mind. The ONLY information this short article provides is the information that was on the arrest warrants, which is very minimal. I was the other officer on scene with JT and this situation could not have been handled anymore professionally, or safely for every party involved. I proud to have been at his side during this incident, and just know there ARE officers who are taking the safest and making the best decisions possible, even if lethal force could in fact be justified.

  • EZeegoing Nov 16, 2009

    "EZeegoing"- Non-lethal stuff.... Are you crazy. Chris 23

    Officer J.T. Heinrich did the testbook right decision by taking down this lady and not resorting to lethal force. We don't know all the details but one has to figure he made a split second decision, which saved a life possibly. Not to mention saving a ton of paperwork while he is put on administrative leave for firing his weapon. Crazy ? I think not.

  • Thought Criminal WS Nov 16, 2009

    She's lucky to be alive. Kudos to the officer for restraint.

  • TallWillow Nov 16, 2009

    Latitude: "Sounds like the officer did the best he could with what he had to work with. Good job."

    twc: "Many have been shot for less. Some would have reacted with deadly force.

    The officer needs to be officially commended."

    TW: Agreed--it sounds like he kept a cool head in a bad situation. There have been quite a few officers trained to deal with people with mental health issues. Maybe he was one of them.

    twc: "The court needs to consider the seriousness of this attack and set an example. The right example might save someone's life down the road."

    TW: Here I agree with your words but not with the type of "example" I think you mean. The court here has the chance to make sure that this person is evaluated for mental health problems and treated if they're what caused her actions. Not saying that she shouldn't have consequences, just that jail may not be the most appropriate or life-saving consequence.

  • didisaythat Nov 16, 2009

    People still can't stop dogging the police. What have we come to. There seems to be more people that look at the criminal like a normal person than the police officer. Like the comment that said the only reason the lady wasn't shot was because the officer was professional. Please, give me a break. Every situation is different. The officer made a decision and becasue she wasn't shot it was a good, professional decision? That is a dangerous way of thinking about what police have to do. I also like the people saying just wound the perp. People stop thinking like your at the movies. This is real life.

  • gandalla Nov 16, 2009

    She wasnt shot for one of two reasons:
    1.She had a weapon and the standard around here seems to be shot an unarmed suspect.
    2.He was an honest cop.

  • twc Nov 16, 2009

    Many have been shot for less. Some would have reacted with deadly force.

    The officer needs to be officially commended.

    The woman needs to thank the officer; the officer saved her life. Next time the officer might not be so professional.

    The court needs to consider the seriousness of this attack and set an example. The right example might save someone's life down the road.

  • chris23 Nov 16, 2009

    Glad no officers were injured. "EZeegoing"- Non-lethal stuff.... Are you crazy. She is lucky she didnt get shot. She had an ax. I would venture to say that if you came at me with an ax I would shoot to kill and be justified in doing same. I am not a police officer but an American Citizen. She should be lucky she is still living to see her day in court.

  • EZeegoing Nov 16, 2009

    All the more reason to equip officers with non lethal sprays like wasp spray. One shot in the face and this crackhead would have wished she had never picked up that ax.