MANKATO — Residents of a mobile home park off Hoffman Road say they are concerned about safety after several homes were evacuated during the weekend while police negotiated with a man they called suicidal.
Mankato police received a call at 11:42 p.m. Saturday about a suicidal man who had access to weapons at 155 Laurinda Lane in the Eastwood Manor park across from Mankato East High School.
Police directed the occupants of four to five nearby homes to evacuate because of their close proximity to the scene, said Cmdr. Matt DuRose.
Police spent until 2:30 a.m. accessing the scene and gathering information, then spent the following half hour calling the man, DuRose said. The man was taken into custody around 4:15 a.m., at which time residents were allowed to return.
DuRose said the decision was made as a safety precaution after police confirmed the man had access to firearms.
"We don't want people in harm's way," DuRose said.
No one was injured in the incident and no shots were fired. About 10 to 13 police officers responded, DuRose said.
Police also seized six guns from the home, according to neighbors. DuRose said he could not confirm the number of guns, but said "multiple" were taken. The man is not facing charges.
Since January, police have responded seven times to the home, including for a possible suicide eight days prior to Sunday's incident, according to department records.
Last year, police received 17 calls for service at the residence. Of those, four were civil matters, but others were for suspicious circumstances, disturbances and intoxication. Police responded to five reports of intoxication in 2014, out of nine calls for service to the home that year.
Neighbors said they are concerned about a lack of action by management in the past two years. Don Wolters, who's also a tenant, took the helm as manager in July 2014.
"It's very upsetting and frustrating," said Kelly Tindal, who has lived nearby for about six years. She said her 8-year-old grandson plays in a park at the mobile home lot and she fears drug activity. She said she's "very disgusted" at the lack of response.
Other neighbors said problems have been acute for more than a year and they think more should have done before Sunday's incident. The man reportedly screams obscenities outside and neighbors sometimes feel unsafe coming home.
"I don’t know where the blame lies, but somebody has to do something," said neighbor Cheri Larson, who's lived in the neighborhood for 16 years. "Nobody should have to live in fear. Something should have been done and something needs to get done."
Wolters said Tuesday that eviction proceedings have started at the Laurinda Lane residence. He said management does everything possible to ensure security but doesn't always know when police have responded to a home. About 450 people live in 230 homes on the lot in what Wolters described as a "close-knit community."
"Unfortunately that particular address does house a young man who does have an alcohol problem," Wolters said. "We're not a perfect world here."