Armed man detained near Super Bowl events sent for mental tests
Phoenix police have sent a man for mental evaluation after he was detained while acting suspiciously near pre-Super Bowl events held in the city center and was found to be in possession of two guns and a knife, authorities said on Wednesday.
The man, who was not identified, was wearing a tan vest, black clothing, sunglasses, a surgical mask and a black backpack, and was wheeling a large suitcase when he was spotted on Tuesday by a parking attendant who alerted police.
An officer later saw the suspect driving a blue minivan and stopped him. The man was speaking incoherently, appeared to be lost, and said he had suffered from a mental illness, said Phoenix Police Department spokesman Sergeant Trent Crump.
The man told police he had guns in the vehicle, and officers recovered a 12-gauge shotgun, a handgun, and a military-type fixed blade knife, Crump said in a statement.
"Based upon the actions of the subject and comments made during questioning, officers detained him and transported him for a mental health evaluation," Crump said, adding that his name would not be released because he had not been arrested.
Super Bowl security officials acknowledge Sunday's game between the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots represents a high profile target, but say they are unaware of any specific, credible threats.
Crump hailed the parking attendant who quickly brought the suspicious man to the attention of the authorities.
"This is an outstanding example of a worker in the area watching out for the unusual and saying something to authorities," he said. "If you See Something, Say Something."