Knife-wielding Loma Portal man heading to mental health program
by NEAL PUTNAM
Published - 03/12/20 - 07:15 AM | 1403 views | 2 2 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A Loma Portal man who was shot by police after he displayed a knife has been accepted into a mental health diversion program.

The case against Ryan Anthony Bowers, 26, will be dismissed if he completes a two-year program, said Deputy District Attorney Melissa Mack.

Bowers is charged with exhibiting a deadly weapon to police, possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting arrest in the Jan. 3, 2019, incident in the 3100 block of Cauby Street.

Bowers has attended hearings with a San Diego Superior Court judge in January and February and has a third one later this month. The District Attorney’s office did not oppose Bowers entering into a mental health diversion program.

“He’ll be closely monitored,” said Deputy District Attorney Melissa Mack, who described Bowers as a suitable candidate for the program.

Mack told Judge Margie Woods that Bowers is making progress. She said he was in compliance.

A police officer previously testified he shot Bowers after he drew a knife. Bowers’ parents had called 911 when he had threatened to cut his throat.

Three police officers responded and the parents let them inside, but Bowers moved towards them while displaying a knife around 9:50 p.m. in an apartment on Cauby Street, which is south of Midway Drive and west of Rosecrans Street.

Officer Matthew Steinbach testified in the Aug. 9 preliminary hearing that he fired two shots as Bowers approached him holding a paring knife. He said he fired in self-defense as Bowers approached him and refused to comply with a command to drop the knife.

Bowers was wounded in the torso and rushed to a hospital. His injuries were initially life-threatening, but he recovered.

A police radio dispatcher’s voice was played in the preliminary hearing with the dispatcher saying the man was reported to have bipolar disorder.

He remains free on his own recognizance.
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