Suspect safely detained after long standoff

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An almost four-hour standoff between San Francisco police and an armed man at a busy downtown intersection ended after officers fired a barrage of flash grenades, disorienting the belligerent man.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports the man had a handgun, which he kept in his pocket through most of the incident that snarled traffic in the area. The suspect was taken away in an ambulance to a hospital where he was being evaluated health workers.

The incident began Wednesday afternoon after officers confronted a shirtless man who was acting strangely in the Tenderloin, a neighborhood long associated with homelessness and drug use.

San Francisco Police Chief Toney Chaplin says the man said several times he wanted the police to take his life.

Chaplin says that prolonging the standoff allowed officers to avoid a fatal shooting.

Mayor Ed Lee thanked police officers for using restraint and lauded Chaplin’s efforts.

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