Kline (Photo courtesy MLPD)
On Saturday, March 27, MLPD arrested John Furey Kline, 21, of Newport Beach after a 45-minute standoff where Kline was barricaded in a hotel room, yelling at officers to shoot him. (Ed. note: The phenomenon is more commonly known as “suicide by cop.”)
Police units were dispatched shortly after noon to Lincoln House, one of the lodging complexes that make up The Village at Mammoth, regarding a guest threatening to kill hotel housekeeping staff if they entered his room. Hotel managers told officers that they also feared for the safety of a female guest who had been heard in the room earlier. When officers made contact with Kline, he refused to open the door and threatened to kill any officer who entered the room. Det. Doug Hornbeck was able to stay outside the building and talk to Kline through an open sliding glass door onto the room’s fourth floor balcony.
Kline kept moving from the room to the balcony, sometimes holding a kitchen knife to his own throat and asking that officers shoot him. Officers inside the building were also talking to Kline, who could be heard throwing things at the door and breaking items inside the hotel room. Hornbeck was able to convince Kline to lie down on the balcony floor and notified Sgt. Marc Moscowitz, who was heading up the team in the hallway. Once Kline went down, Moscowitz ordered the locked room door to be broken in by battering ram, and a team of MLPD officers, Mono Sheriff’s deputies and California Highway Patrol troopers entered the room.
Kline was taken into custody without incident.
He was determined to be under the apparent combined influence of cocaine, methamphetamine and alcohol. After being treated for minor, self-inflicted knife cuts, Kline was booked at the Mono County Jail on felony charges of making criminal threats and vandalism, and misdemeanor charges of being under the influence of controlled substances and possession of paraphernalia used to ingest controlled substances.
Two friends, a male and a female, had left the room earlier, probably when hotel staff was briefing officers, because they were afraid of Kline. They each told officers later that Kline had brandished the 10-inch blade at them and threatened to kill them. Kline had damaged personal items of theirs during his rampage, as well as hotel furniture and fixtures.
MLPD extended thanks to the Sheriff’s Department and CHP for their loan of personnel. In addition to having officers on hand when entering the room, CHP was instrumental in helping close Canyon Boulevard to vehicle traffic until the standoff was over. —MLPD Press Release