Redmond standoff suspect in court

Friends offer support; mental health experts share advice

POSTED: 7:28 PM PST February 15, 2013 
BEND, Ore. -

The Redmond man arrested after a five-hour standoff with police Thursday night made his first court appearance Friday. Police, family and friends of Michael Boynton, 43, said he suffers from mental illness.

Boynton is accused of running around on the streets outside his house, threatening three random women with a knife, then going inside and refusing police directives to come out.

Friends and family said Boynton suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar disease. They said after his mother died recently, he lost his job and was evicted from his apartment, he spiraled downward.

"When you know you have a problem and you don't get the proper medication, or the treatment that you need, you're messing with fire," said a friend, Jeanette Walker.

After nearly five hours, the SWAT team forced their way into the home and arrested Boynton. He appeared by video camera in a Deschutes County courtroom, where he told the judge he was sleeping when he was arrested.

Because of his mental issues, police said they did not want to share more information.

"There was certainly a crisis element involved in this situation, and we certainly don't want to make this worse for him or his family members," Lt. Nathan Garibay said.

Psychiatric workers said if family or friends fear their loved one may do something violent, help is always a phone call away.

"They can either call Deschutes County mental health and speak with someone there, or they have a crisis line after hours," psychiatric health worker Molly Wells said. "They can talk about what their family member's history is, what's going on with them, whether they should be concerned. They can get someone to go out and check on them."

As Boynton faces a long legal process ahead of him, his friends say they hope they can help him move forward.

"We knew that it could be something tragic that happened to him, because we've been trying to reach out to him," Walker said. "Between the loss of his mom, losing his job, being served papers to move out of his place -- he's just a real good guy that needs some help."