Hay River man in custody after ‘potentially violent situation’


This report covers issues related to self-harm. Self- harm thoughts and behaviours can be reduced with mental health support and treatment, and are not weaknesses or flaws. Details of where to go for help in the NWT are included in this article.

Hay River RCMP said pepper spray and a taser – as well as what police termed “intervention techniques” – were used to bring a man into custody on Tuesday.


The incident involved a man armed with a knife, police said, and began at around 6:30pm that evening. According to RCMP, the man had made threats regarding potential self-harm.

RCMP said officers used “various intervention techniques with the goal of taking the man safely into custody.”

“Communication and de-escalation was used,” police said in a Wednesday news release.  

Nobody was injured. The man was taken to Hay River’s hospital as a precautionary measure. An investigation is ongoing and no charges have yet been laid.

“Our members were involved in a highly emotional situation where critical thinking and the deployment of various techniques were required to safely end the situation,” Sgt Kurtis Pillipow, Hay River RCMP detachment commander, was quoted as saying.


RCMP reminded residents to call the police if they believe someone is in distress.

“Officers are trained to de-escalate a situation and the safety of the person, and those who may be around them, is of the utmost importance,” the news release stated.

Who can help in the NWT?

Community counsellors are available in nearly every community across the territory. Here’s contact information for a counsellor in your community.


The NWT Help Line is available 24/7 for residents to call and is free and confidential. To speak with someone, call 1-800-661-0844.

Kid’s Help Phone is available 24/7 for young people. To talk to someone, call 1-800-668-6868, use live chat at, or text 686868.

Crisis Services Canada is a national network of distress, crisis, and suicide prevention services, To speak to someone or learn more about available resources, call 1-833-456-4566, available 24/7, or text 45645 between 4pm-12am EST.

All services are free of charge and confidential. Read more: Where to get help in the NWT