Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Today’s ‘Suicide By Cop’ Standoff in Laytonville Ends After Officers Deploy Non-Lethal Force and K9


The following is a press release issued by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:

Christopher Brockway [Mugshot from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Booking Logs]

On 01-16-2022 at approximately 8:19 AM, California Highway Patrol Officers requested assistance from the Mendocino County Sheriffs Office regarding a pursuit in Laytonville, California.

While responding, Sheriff’s Office Dispatch informed Deputies the driver had stopped in the 100 block of Branscomb Road. Deputies were advised the driver was refusing to obey any verbal commands and was threatening “suicide by cop”.

Deputies arrived on scene and identified the driver as Christopher Brockway, known from previous law enforcement contacts.

Brockway was recently booked into the Mendocino County Jail on charges of felon in possession of a firearm, forgery, possession of stolen property, conspiracy and identity theft.

Brockway had recently been granted a short term release pass from custody by a Mendocino County Superior Court Judge.

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Brockway was ordered to surrender himself back to the Mendocino County Jail on 01-15-2022 by 8:00 P.M. and he failed to do so.  This resulted in Brockway being wanted for escape from custody.

Today’s standoff in Laytonville [Photograph provided by a resident on-site]

An original responding Deputy who was a crisis negotiator with the Mendocino County Regional SWAT Team arrived on scene and began speaking with Brockway in a attempt to get him to surrender peacefully.

Due to the “suicide by cop” statements Mendocino County Behavioral Health was contacted and asked to send a crisis worker to the scene.  Behavioral Health was unable to send a crisis worker to the scene so the SWAT Team crisis negotiator continued communications with Brockway. 

Based on previous history with Brockway and his recent firearm related arrest, the Mendocino County Regional SWAT Team was summoned to the scene.  Many of the team members where off-duty and were called out to respond to the situation.

Verbal negotiations with Brockway continued for approximately three hours, asking for his peaceful surrender.

Brockway eventually exited his vehicle, however he continued to refuse to obey verbal commands.

Brockway attempted to walk back towards his vehicle where a knife was observed on the ground.

Based on the above circumstances, SWAT Team members deployed a 40mm less-lethal foam baton round which struck Brockway in the upper leg. 

At this time Sheriff’s K9 “BO” was deployed and the canine bit Brockway in the arm, allowing SWAT Team members to quickly approach and safely place Brockway under arrest.

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Brockway was later transported to a local hospital for medical examination/treatment and was determine to have a minor injury from the canine bite.

Brockway was ultimately arrested for Escape from Custody (4532 PC) and Resisting Arrest (148(a)(1) PC).  ‘Charges will also be filed with the District Attorneys Office by the California Highway Patrol for potential charges related to the pursuit.

Brockway was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $90,000.00 bail.

Previous Coverage

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  1. The judge who let him out should have taken him home and cared for him, and kept him out of trouble. The judge’s name should be in the article. Camille Schrader/Jenine Miller should have responded since their staff couldn’t. Supe Williams and CEO Angelo should have taken over the scene to save the MCSO budget. Too bad MCSO, Fire, CHP, CalFire all had to clean up this mess and bear all of the potential liability and press that other leaders should have prevented in the first place.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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