Couple: Incident was unusual in their home

Sweet Home residents Laurie and Mike Comstock said last week that an incident in which Laurie Comstock was taken into custody on a police officer hold was unique and that there is nothing to fear at their home.

Comstock called the police during a dispute with her husband, Mike. She had locked herself in the bedroom, and she told dispatchers that she was armed and bipolar. Police responded and closed down Long Street. Within minutes she surrendered to officers, who transported her to Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital on a police officer hold for a mental evaluation.

She contacted The New Era last week to explain the situation in more detail.

“It was a family argument,” Laurie said. “There’s never, ever been any violence in this house.”

Stress over finances led to the incident, she said. She had just discovered the family bank account had an overdraft, she said.

Mike, who has been unemployed during the recent economic downturn, was just on his way home from the bank after learning the same thing.

“This day and age, with the economy, everything is very stressful,” Laurie said. “You’re living penny to penny.”

The discussion between the two turned a direction it had never gone.

“He’s never given me any reason to be scared of him in 21 years,” Laurie said. He started getting red-faced, and he was shaking.

“I am from a previous abusive relationship,” Laurie said, and she had never seen Mike like this before. “He scared me. I’m bipolar, and I don’t handle stress very well. This is the very first time I’ve ever felt threatened.”

She went to their bedroom to calm down, and Mike followed.

He is the type who simply wants to finish the discussion and move on, he said. That’s the only reason he followed her.

“I don’t like this ‘let’s wait and talk about it tomorrow,'” he said.

“I thought he was going to break down the door,” Laurie said, so she grabbed their .22-caliber snub nose pistol. She was unable to find ammunition for it, though, and forgot about other firearms also in the room.

She called 9-1-1 because she wanted to defuse the situation, she said.

What followed was blown out of proportion, Mike said.

“He did apologize, and he’s never ever laid a hand on me,” Laurie said.

She completed the evaluation at the hospital and was released, Laurie said. “I just don’t want people to think people who are bipolar or have anxiety or get scared €“ we’re not crazy. We just don’t fly off the handle for no reason. I just don’t want people to be scared to come by the house or walk by the house.”

She has two children in high school and one in junior high, she said. “I don’t want their friends to feel uncomfortable.”

Her home is frequented by dozens of her children’s friends, she said.

“I just want people to know we’re not bad people,” Mike said. “Don’t be afraid to come by.”

Sweet Home police records show no previous incidents at the Comstock residence during the eight years they have lived there.

“I agree this didn’t develop into anything at all, a relatively minor issue,” said Police Chief Bob Burford. But he said the first response to any call like this would be similar because police must lessen the possible injury of innocent passersby until officers can be certain they have contained the threat.

“When there’s a deadly weapon involved, we’re very no-nonsense,” Burford said.

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