Hudson Valley Woman Threatened Cops With Knife, Police Say
Officials believe the arrest underscores "the failure of our mental health system" in New York State.
On Saturday around 5:20 p.m., Saugerties police responded for a reported domestic dispute at a home on Mary Ann Avenue in the Town of Saugerties. The caller reported the suspect was intoxicated and fighting with other family members.
Arriving officers were told Alice L. Saguid broke multiple items in the house and bit one person in the arm, police say.
While still interviewing the complainant, Saguid allegedly ran to the kitchen, grabbed a knife and as an officer tried to negotiate with Saguid she raised the knife over her head in an act of aggression towards the officers.
A police officer used a taser and Saguid was transported to the Health Alliance Hospital Broadway Campus in Kingston for substance abuse treatment and mental health evaluation.
On Saturday around 10:45 a.m., police received a call from one of the protected parties in the original Order of Protection on Mary Ann Avenue, reporting that they had just arrived home and found Saguid sitting in their kitchen. Officers responded to the scene and took Saguid into custody on multiple charges stemming from the incident the previous evening.
Saguid was charged with criminal contempt of court, a felony, criminal possession of a women, menacing a police officer, menacing, reckless endangerment of property and attempted assault, all misdemeanor.
"This incident once again underscored the failure of our mental health system in NYS to properly evaluate and provide care to those suffering from mental illness and substance abuse addiction," Saugerties Police Chief Joseph Sinagra said in a press release.
In July 2019, Saguid was charged with menacing and criminal possession of a weapon. She was accused of menacing a family member with a knife and a chainsaw.
At the time of her arrest, Saguid pleaded with officers to kill her, police say. On August 11, Saguid was charged with menacing and Assault following an incident where Saguid, armed with a knife, threatened to kill a family member and then herself, according to the Saugerties Police Department.
"Police throughout our nation are constantly being placed in confrontational situations with individuals suffering from mental health illness and substances abuse addiction. These individuals deserve and require long term treatment. Rather than funding and having an MHL system in place that can properly address the needs of those suffering from mental health illness and substances abuse addiction, we have spent the past twenty-five years defunding and dismantling our Mental Health System. As a result, today we are left with nothing else to do but to throw these individuals back onto the streets, increasing their frequency of contact with police. Then when the situation turns deadly, we the police are to blame. I thank God that our officers did not have to use Deadly Physical Force last evening, (The use of deadly physical force in this encounter would have been justified) but first resorted to a less lethal tactic, which on this occasion worked. Had the taser not been effective, this outcome could have turned lethal," Sinagra wrote in a press release.