Lynchburg police say a man who was holding a knife to his throat in the James River for several hours overnight was taken into custody this morning.     It happened in the river between Riveredge Park in Amherst County and downtown Lynchburg.   Lynchburg Police say it bega around 2:30 when  a wanted man out of Amherst County led police on a chase and drove his car into the river.  He then stayed in the water with a knife while crews – including  a crisis negotiation team – talked to him.    The man is now in custody under an emergency custody order.  Police haven’t released his name or other details.

Here is the entire news release from Lynchburg Police:

– The Lynchburg Police Department has safely taken a wanted man into custody today after a vehicle pursuit.   

On May 24, 2021, at 2:27 a.m., an officer identified a wanted subject in his vehicle while driving near Florida Avenue and Grace Street. The officer initiated a stop, but the driver accelerated away from the officer. The driver then traveled on US 29 into Amherst County, where Amherst County Sheriff’s Office deputies took over the pursuit. The man eventually drove his car into the James River at Riveredge Park in Amherst County. He then exited his vehicle and began swimming and wading down the river, threatening to harm himself with a knife he had in his hand. 

Members of the LPD’s Tactical Unit and Crisis Negotiation Teams, the Lynchburg Fire Department, Monelison Volunteer Fire Department, Amherst County Sheriff’s Office, and Virginia State Police responded to the scene. After several hours of speaking with the man, LPD officers were able to safely take the man into custody on an Emergency Custody Order without the use of force. He was not injured. 

Any additional information will be released as an update to this news release.