Denver Police Chief subdues knife-wielding man, deflects praise

Denver Police Chief Robert White praised officers for bringing Radio Shack hostage crisis to peaceful end. Sep. 7, 2012

Denver Police Chief Robert White addresses the media following a hostage situation at a Denver Radio Shack on Sept. 7, 2012.

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DENVER — Media outlets typically extend an amount of professional courtesy to police departments when asked to withhold certain information. But when a police chief single-handedly subdues a knife-wielding man, it’s hard not to let that cat out of the bag.

Such was the case on Wednesday, when, despite pleas directly from the horse’s mouth, several media outlets reported that Denver Police Chief Robert White was on his way back to headquarters on Wednesday afternoon when he noticed a man brandishing a knife and chasing people on East 16th Avenue, just north of East Colfax Avenue.

White called the incident in and eventually received backup, but a Denver Police spokesperson confirmed the fully-uniformed, 62-year-old police chief didn’t wait for help to arrive before chasing the man down, drawing his weapon and ordering the man to drop the knife.

White’s backup reportedly arrived just in time to see the man lying on the ground, obeying White’s orders. The man was then taken to detox, not jail, after it was determined he was either intoxicated or suffering from a mental disorder.

Some would call White’s actions selfless or heroic. White wouldn’t be among them.

“This small police action is what is expected in our profession,” White wrote in an email, asking FOX31 Denver and other media outlets not to blow his efforts out of proportion. “I prefer that praise and attention go to the men and women who keep Denver safe every day.”

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