On Sunday 10/31/21 just before 10:30 a.m. Chico Police Officers were dispatched to the CalWater water tower located at Oleander Avenue and E. 6th Avenue Chico, CA after several passerby’s noticed a male holding a long object sitting atop the tower. Fearing the subject was possibly armed with a rifle, Officers cautiously responded and prepared to communicate with the individual. For over two hours Chico Police Officers and Crisis Negotiators attempted to get the male down from the tower. The male, later identified as 39-year-old Derrick CRIST, refused to come down. Chico PD Officers used technological assets to assist in attempting to negotiate with CRIST. Negotiators used an LRAD, (long range acoustic device), that allows for long range directional communication, allowing them to use amplification that did not disrupt neighbors. A Chico Police Unmanned Aerial System was also sent up to the tower to check on CRIST and confirm he was unarmed.
After CRIST refused to speak with the Mobile Crisis Team members from Butte County Behavioral Health and Chico Police Negotiators were not getting traction due to his emotional state, Officers reassessed the approach. Our priority is the preservation of life, and at that time CRIST did not present a danger to anyone but himself. In an effort to de-escalate the situation, not prompt CRIST to endanger himself further, and allow CRIST time to enter a different emotional state; the decision was made to conduct a tactical disengagement. Officers left the area as options were given to CRIST.
CRIST remained at the top of the tower for the remainder of the day and overnight. Chico Police Officers continued to check on CRIST, but without directly contacting him.
On 11/1/21, Mobile Crisis Team members monitored CRIST. Beginning at about 11:20 am CRIST began yelling he’d come down but would then refuse. This continued for some time, until at about 12:30 pm. As Officers and Chico Fire personnel began discussing a plan for an eventual attempt at getting him down, CRIST began climbing down the tower. Officers were standing by and arrested him as he came down. Due to CRIST being up on the tower overnight and the wet weather, Officers transported him to Enloe Medical Center for a medical clearance.
After interviewing CRIST, he was arrested on multiple vandalism and trespassing charges.
Location: CalWater Tower Oleander/E. 6th Avenues
Victim: CalWater Suspect: Derrick Crist 39 YOA
Supervisor: Sgt. David Bailey
Commander: Lt. Omar Peña