A Bridgehampton man is under psychiatric care after he made a suicide attempt in his car using the fumes of hazardous chemicals, causing a hazmat response at , according to authorities.
Chief Rodney "Chip" Pierson said his department was called in at 3 a.m. Wednesday and found the man's Volkswagen Beetle convertible parked outside the emergency room entrance with an open 5-gallon container of an unknown substance in the front seat and the convertible top down. The Southampton Town Hazardous Materials Team was then called in, the hospital was put on lock down and the area was quarantined one block in each direction, Pierson said. There was minimal risk, and the measures were precautionary, he added.
According to a report from 27East, Southampton Police Chief Thomas Cummings said the man attempted to kill himself elsewhere, and then had a change of heart, driving to the hospital instead.
The report quotes the chief as follows: “His goal was to commit suicide, but I guess at a certain point he changed his mind and pulled up to the ER and walked in,” the chief said, noting that both the emergency entrance on Lewis Street and the man’s car were contaminated.
Cummings was not immediately available for comment.
The chemical substance was put in a sealed container and it is now the hospital's responsibility to dispose of it through an environmental company, Pierson said. The hazmat team cleared the scene at 6 a.m., he said.
Det. Sgt. Herman Lamison said the man, who is 49 or 50 years old, is under psychiatric care.
In a prepared statement, Southampton Hospital President & CEO Bob Chaloner praised the emergency personnel. "The response by the North Sea and Southampton Town Fire Departments, the Southampton Village Police, the Southampton Town Haz-Mat Team, and the Southampton Village and town ambulance services to an incident at the hospital’s emergency room earlier this morning was prompt and professional," he said. "We are grateful for their assistance and support of the hospital’s security staff in managing the situation so that everyone remained safe."