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Police take custody of armed, suicidal man near Cal U farm

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Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, 12:12 p.m.

A Washington County man with a stolen rifle held police at bay for several hours on Monday in West Brownsville, but surrendered peacefully to state police.

The man surrendered about 3:30 p.m. and was to be taken to a mental health facility.

Police spokeswoman Stefani Plume said the man is a West Brownsville resident.

No shots were fired, and no one was injured, police said.

Police were summoned before noon to a report of a suicidal man armed with a rifle near a farm development owned by nearby California University of Pennsylvania.

The university and California Area School District in Washington County issued alerts on Monday morning after police reported that the armed man was seen near the farm.

The university alert warned students to be vigilant and to take shelter and call 911 if they saw the armed man.

After the initial call to state police, including its Special Emergency Response Team, troopers surrounded the man in a field next to the Brownsville Wal-Mart.

The man was involved in an incident early Monday in the Newell Borough area, where a long gun was taken from a home, according to Plume.

Police said the man then went to a residence in Uniontown and attempted to contact a woman on two occasions before he was spotted in the area of the Wal-Mart off Route 40 in Washington County.

Paul Peirce is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-850-2860 or

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