Bay Area

Alameda Sheriff's Department credits training for preventing tragedy at Oakland Airport

ALAMEDA COUNTY (KRON) -- A man armed with a knife and a deputy armed with a handgun. When it was over the suspect was arrested without anyone being injured at the Oakland Airport.

The Sheriff's Department credits the deputy's de-escalation training.

"The reason she had her handgun out because she saw him armed with a knife,” said Sgt. Ray Kelly with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office. “It was in his hand. She is actually showing a lot of courage and restraint in using those de-escalation tactics that we've taught her and all of our deputies.”

That de-escalation training is on full display in video from Sunday morning's incident at the Oakland International Airport between a man armed with a knife and an 8-year-veteran deputy with the Alameda County Sheriff's Office.

"So a number of times we have seen situation like this take a different course,” Kelly said.

Alameda County Sheriff's Deputy Sgt. Kelly explains how the deputy used words and body language to dial the temperature down in this real life scenario.

"She used time, distance and cover to keep herself safe. To let the suspect know, by having her firearm out, that he could not approach her,” Kelly said. “That deadly force, the potential for that was there but that she was giving him body language and signals that she did not want to use deadly force, that she wanted to de-escalate the situation.”

Investigators say this is the image of the knife that the suspect, 27-year-old, Fabian Roca Ruiz of Oakland allegedly holding in his hand.

"As you can see it's not a very sophisticated knife but it's a deadly weapon cause if that were to get stuck in your neck while you're sitting in your patrol car, it could cause some serious bodily injury or death,” the sergeant said.

However there was no one was injured when a second deputy comes in from behind Ruiz and takes him into custody.

"After he dropped the knife he picked it back up and began to move toward her,” Kelly said. “But you can see they detain him here really quickly. The don't waste a lot of time. They go hands on right away. Both of them working as a team here.”

Sgt. Kelly says although deputies receive de-escalation training and crisis intervention training year round in Alameda County sometimes it is not enough.

In those situations it helps to be a little lucky.

"What was in our favor here number one was good luck. Number two was training and number three was experience,” he said. “You put all of those together and that's why we were successful in the outcome of this.”

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