NOLENSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – According to the Treatment Advocacy Center, people with untreated mental illness are 16 times more likely to be killed during a police encounter than other civilians approached or stopped by law enforcement.

That’s what makes a recent interaction in Nolensville so remarkable.

It happened Sunday, May 14 at around 10:30 p.m. That’s when Sgt. Tim Pickel found a disoriented 23-year-old man walking down Nolensville Road. The man also had dried blood on his forehead, neck and arms.

The officer got out of his vehicle and got the 23-year-old man off the road. The man was initially silent and kept walking. Pickel calmly spoke to him, while also discretely talking to dispatch to alert other officers what was happening in real time.

Eventually, the man told Pickel he cut himself using glass and said he ran to Nolensville from Nashville. He also said he was in downtown Nashville earlier in the evening and took a white pill, but he did not know what he took.

The man also mentioned wanting to kill himself.

“Talking about suicide? Is that what happened to you? Alright, I have a lot of people coming to help you, okay? I appreciate you talking with me, okay? You know you are not in any type of trouble, all right? I’m just here to help you,” Pickel was heard saying.

Pickel spoke to the young man in a calm, friendly voice. He explained what was happening, who was coming and what will happen to the man so he didn’t become frightened.

Sgt. Tim Pickel (Source: Nolensville Police Department)

“All we are going to do is pat you down, okay? I appreciate you stopping to talk to me. You are not in trouble at all, so if you have taken any drugs at all, because I have to let EMS know so they can help you the best they can, okay?” Pickel said.

Supervisors said Pickel also did another key action in this mental crisis interaction; he kept other arriving first responders appraised of what was happening so they too could remain calm.

According to Assistant Chief Michael Terns, Pickel, a long time military veteran and five-year police officer has taken crisis intervention training, and you can see it working perfectly on body camera footage.

“This officer went through crisis intervention training, and through that training we teach officers to remain calm. People are experiencing mental health issues. We don’t want to escalate the situation. We don’t want it to get out of control, so we keep ourselves calm; we keep other responding officers calm and we keep that person calm, because at the end of the day we want a peaceful resolution to these issues,” Terns said.

The young man was not arrested and was taken to the hospital for treatment.