A man who doused himself in gasoline and threatened to set himself ablaze with a lighter surrendered peacefully to emergency personnel in Downtown Boise Thursday afternoon, police said. The man was transported to a nearby hospital.
Emergency personnel blocked off streets near the Modern Hotel at 14th and Grove streets in Downtown Boise, as they tried to aid the suicidal man. The incident was reported at about 1:30 p.m., and by about 2:15 p.m. he had surrendered to authorities.
The man was in a white minivan in the street between the Modern Hotel and the Linen Building. He was not a guest at the hotel, and he did not communicate at all with hotel staff, Modern owner Elizabeth Tullis said.
About 15 police cars, three fire engines and Ada County Paramedics vehicles were at the scene. Those in nearby businesses were asked to shelter in place or leave the area; there was no formal evacuation.
"Officers are trying to communicate with him, get him in a safe place and the help he needs," police spokeswoman Lynn Hightower said in a press release before the situation was resolved. The man was making "serious threats to his own life and possibly others," Hightower said.
The man, who appeared to be holding and talking on a cellphone, got out of his car several times and yelled at police.
Police encourage those feeling suicidal to call the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.