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Mental subjects are often drawn to police officers. They recognize peace officers as an authority figure and often resent authority. Extreme caution is always necessary when dealing with mental subjects, designated in the police ten code as “10-96.”

During the summer of 1968, Trooper Roger Fordham was working at the Wendover Port of Entry. A man entered the checking station at about 6:45 a.m. and announced that his car had been stolen. He then asked to use the washroom to clean up.

A few minutes later he exited and was bleeding from a self-inflicted cut to his throat. The subject was brandishing a pocket knife and told Trooper Fordham that he was going to kill him. He then lunged at Roger, who blocked the attack with his left hand while he drew his service revolver. Trooper Fordham fired one round which entered the attacker’s left side and passed through his body. He was rushed to the Tooele Valley Hospital for treatment and was later charged with assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to do bodily harm.