Officers Help Woman Walking Naked, Suffering Medical Emergency

PETALUMA, CA — Officers with the Petaluma Police Department came to the aid of a woman suffering from an apparent mental health crisis and medical emergency Tuesday afternoon after she walked into the Petaluma High School gym, bleeding and wearing no clothes.

Officers were initially dispatched at 3:05 p.m. to the 100 block of Dana Street where a neighbor reported a woman was running around inside a residence and breaking things. Another caller soon reported the woman — described as unclothed and covered in blood — was walking from a residence toward Petaluma High School.

As police units were en route, the woman walked onto campus at 201 Fair St. and entered the school gym.

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“Unfortunately, the gymnasium was occupied by students,” Petaluma police Lt. Matthew Parnow said. “Staff at the school acted swiftly evacuating the gymnasium of students and providing clear directions to incoming first responders.”

As officers encountered the woman, she was suffering from a serious laceration to her arm among several other cuts to her body. Officers believed she was suffering a mental health crisis and needed immediate medical intervention, as well.

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“Recognizing the severity of the situation, officers applied a tourniquet to her arm to stop the bleeding,” Parnow said. “Paramedics arrived shortly thereafter providing additional assistance and transporting her to a local hospital.”

Based on officers’ observations and information gleaned from witnesses, the woman’s actions appeared intentional and consistent with someone who may have been trying to injure themselves, the lieutenant said.

“There were no obvious signs of foul play, and as it appears, the woman sustained the injury from exiting a window at the residence,” Parnow said. “We have no reason to believe the woman was in possession of any weapons. The woman’s injuries were determined to be non-life threatening and luckily, no other community members or students were injured. The woman’s identity is being withheld due to medical confidentiality.”

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Parnow noted that help is available for people experiencing a mental health crisis in Petaluma by calling 911. Dispatchers will send the appropriate emergency police/fire/medical personnel along with SAFE, a mobile crisis response team serving Petaluma. The SAFE team can be reached directly at 707-781-1234. People can also call 988 if someone is thinking of harming themself. Additional mental health resources in Sonoma County can be found here.

“We would like to thank the neighbors in the area who notified us of the activity in their neighborhood,” Parnow said. “With the information provided by our community members, first responders arrived on scene in under five minutes providing care to the woman.”

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