Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Man held for mental evaluation in Friday's lockdown, gun threat at USF

TAMPA — A man who touched off a lockdown and manhunt Friday at the University of South Florida by telling a crisis center operator that he was carrying a gun on campus was detained early Saturday for mental evaluation, USF police said.

The man agreed to an interview at USF police headquarters and was held under the Baker Act. The law allows people to be taken for mental health examination if they're considered a danger to themselves or others.

Because campus police don't have video surveillance of the man on campus and no witnesses have come forward, the only information they have about the incident is from his call to the crisis center and his interview with police.

Campus police Sgt. Mike Klingebiel wouldn't release information from the interview. He said the investigation is ongoing and charges may be filed after a review by police and a discussion with the State Attorney's Office.

Shortly after noon Friday, a caller told a worker at the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay that he had a gun and wasn't afraid to use it. Before he hung up, he said he was in a parking lot outside USF's Bio-Science Building.

In the two hours that followed, police established perimeters and combed the campus, guns drawn. Students were warned by a text message blast and emergency sirens to stay inside. No gunman was found on campus.

The man agreed to an interview at police headquarters, a meeting Klingebiel said was facilitated by his relatives.

His identity was not released because he was being held on medical issues related to the Baker Act and has not been charged with a crime, USF police said.

Police didn't find a gun, and Klingebiel said he didn't know if the man had actually been armed as he claimed.

While police never found the man on campus, Klingebiel said there is no evidence to refute his statement over the phone that he was on campus. He has never been affiliated with USF, police said.

The man may have been on campus because of a past personal relationship, police added. Klingebiel wouldn't say if it was a romantic relationship or if it had ended badly.

After the interview, the man was transported to the crisis center.

Man held for mental evaluation in Friday's lockdown, gun threat at USF 07/25/09 [Last modified: Saturday, July 25, 2009 8:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trump condemns killing of pair who tried to stop racist rant


    President Donald Trump on Monday condemned the fatal stabbing of two good Samaritans trying to help a pair of young women targeted by an anti-Muslim tirade on a Portland, Ore., light rail train.

    Coco Douglas, 8, leaves a handmade sign and rocks she painted at a memorial in Portland, Ore., on Saturday for two bystanders who were stabbed to death Friday while trying to stop a man who was yelling anti-Muslim slurs and acting aggressively toward two young women. From left are Coco's brother, Desmond Douglas; her father, Christopher Douglas; and her stepmother, Angel Sauls. [Associated Press]
  2. What major sporting event could Tampa Bay land next?

    Lightning Strikes

    We are on quite a roll as a community. First, we had a Super Bowl drop from the storm clouds into our lap. It just reaffirms the fact that Tampa Bay is great at lap. And Monday it became official: Next year's NHL All-Star Game will be held at Amalie Arena. The best in the world will be here to shoot and score. And …

    MVP Wayne Gretzky is congratulated at the 1999 NHL All-Star game, the last time the event was in Tampa Bay. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times file]
  3. How the 2018 NHL All-Star Game reflects Jeff Vinik's vision for Tampa

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There were several reasons the NHL announced Monday that Tampa will host the 2018 All-Star Game on Jan. 28.

    This was the  logo for the 1999 NHL All-Star game played Sunday, Jan 24, 1999 at the Ice Palace in Tampa Bay. (AP Photo)
  4. Photo gallery: Nation pays respects to America's war dead on Memorial Day

    Human Interest

    At Memorial Day ceremonies in Tampa Bay area and around the country, Americans paid tribute to the men and women who gave their lives in service to their country.

    Eight-year-old Piper St. Jean, of Tampa, uses a brush to clean the grave of her grandfather, Henry St. Jean, who served with the United States Air Force during the Korean and Vietnam wars. at Curlew Hills Memory Gardens on Monday moments after the conclusion of their 31st annual Memorial Day Service on Monday (5/23/17) in Palm Harbor. The event featured guest speakers, live choral performances by the Palm Harbor United Methodist Church choir and live music by Bones South, an area trombone ensemble with rhythm section. On Saturday local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops placed flags on veterans???‚??„? graves prior to the event. This is an annual tradition of Curlew Hills' Memorial Day services and helps the Scout troops achieve merit badges. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.
  5. Protest sparks Texas lawmaker threats of gun violence


    AUSTIN, Texas — Hundreds of protesters opposing Texas' tough new anti-"sanctuary cities" law launched a raucous demonstration from the public gallery in the Texas House on Monday, briefly halting work and prompting lawmakers on the floor below to scuffle — and even threaten gun violence — as tense …