SARASOTA (WWSB) - Dozens of law enforcement and emergency vehicles responded Thursday afternoon when a man called 911 saying he needed law enforcement and forensics on scene.
The sheriff’s office says it was an unusual call and it was immediately clear that it was a mental health issue and that the man was in distress.
Deputies received a call at approximately 1:43 p.m. that indicated the need for law enforcement and forensics to respond to a home on the 2900 block on Linwood Drive in Sarasota. Members of the agency’s Patrol Bureau, SWAT Team, Hostage Negotiation Team, Criminal Investigations Section, Aviation Unit, and K-9 Unit responded.
“The call was very concerning so deputies immediately responded," Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Kaitlyn Perez said. "Once we got on scene we learned very quickly that there were multiple subjects inside that home...at the time there were three children inside the home along with the individual who dialed 911 and an adult female.”
Deputies say they learned that there was an adult woman, the man’s mother, and three children in the home. The woman and three children were able to get out of the home unharmed, but the man remained inside until more than three hours later.
“All of the men and women at the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office are trained in crisis intervention,” Perez said. "It is one of the most powerful tools our deputies carry with them.”
Around 5:30pm, deputies say the man, identified as 41-year-old Luisito Montanez of Sarasota, exited the home and was taken into custody. The sheriff’s office credits the non-violent ending to the crisis intervention training their deputies have gone through and the work of their hostage negotiation team.
Montanez has been charged with a single count of Violation of a Domestic Violence Injunction for Possession of a Firearm. Through continued investigation, Montanez voluntarily turned over two weapons from inside his home during Thursday’s event.
He remains in custody under the care of mental health professionals.
“Thursday’s incident it a testament to the complex mental health issues law enforcement faces every day,” Sheriff Tom Knight said. “We received a call for help from someone in crisis, and our deputies found a safe resolution because of their training and awareness. Situations like these are why the sheriff’s office supports mental health and comprehensive treatment courts while also providing mental health services within our correctional facility.”